Parma Fire Department Sees Increase in Lithium Battery Fires
The Parma Fire Department is warning people about the dangers of lithium batteries after seeing an increase in fires caused by them.
Captain Ricky Fetter, the Parma Fire Marshal, said that lithium batteries can overheat and combust if left charging for too long unattended.
Lithium batteries can be found in various products like electric cars, bikes, scooters, household products, and cell phones.
The problem is not just limited to Parma as safety regulators in the US are also seeing a surge in fires associated with e-bikes, scooters, and hoverboards.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission received more than 200 reports of fires in battery-powered micro mobility products from the start of 2021 through late November of last year.
These incidents resulted in 19 deaths and 22 injuries.
Fetter said that the biggest issue in Parma is with electric bikes.
People are taking them inside to charge to avoid getting them stolen.
He also mentioned that many people are converting their normal bicycles into e-bikes using uncertified conversion kits, which could be dangerous.
Fetter added that these types of fires are becoming increasingly common, and they are challenging to put out.
According to Fetter, there have been over 100 lithium battery-related fires in Northeast Ohio so far in 2023.
In the entire state for the 2022 year, there were over 200 such fires.
Resources are being exhausted, and it’s costing a lot of manpower, time, and effort to put them out.
Moreover, the cleanup costs associated with disposing of the batteries are also high.
The Parma Fire Department is urging people not to bring e-bikes or e-scooters inside to charge.
If charging in a garage, they should never charge at night or leave unattended.
People should also ensure that they purchase products from certified makers.
Fetter said that people need to realize that there are ways to prevent these incidents.
Over a recent five-year period, there were at least 25,000 incidents of fires or overheating in lithium-ion batteries.
The Parma Fire Department is reminding people to be cautious and avoid leaving lithium batteries charging for too long unattended.