Firefighters are urging residents across Staffordshire to ensure they are aware of the risks involved with their electronic devices following a house fire today (Saturday 9 July).
Shortly after 3.15am, crews from Cannock, Chase Terrace, Brewood, Stafford, Rising Brook, Burton and Rugeley were called to a house fire near Burnthill Lane in Rugeley.
Seven people were assessed at the scene by paramedics from West Midlands Ambulance Service and transported to hospital for treatment.
Their injuries are not believed to be serious.
Upon an investigation, the cause of the fire was deemed to be accidental as a result of an ebike battery exploding.
Whilst the vast majority of phones, cameras, tablets, electronic vehicles, vacuum cleaners and power tools are safe to use, the batteries used in modern day tech – namely lithium ion batteries – have the potential to accelerate fires should they come into contact with flames.
This, especially with the increasing use of electronically powered vehicles in cars and bicycles, has the potential to cause widespread damage if these highly combustible batteries ignite.
Martin Weaver, Group Manager at the Service, said: “The public must handle their electronic devices with care and ensure they mitigate the risk of fires involving lithium-ion batteries.
“Devices that require charging, such as ebikes and escooters, should not be obstructing your exit route from the property. If they catch fire, they can quickly compromise your way out if they are left near doors, windows and stairs.
“Never keep them charging overnight or for prolonged periods without supervision. These batteries are highly combustible and can rapidly spread to neighbouring rooms within the home.
“Firefighters continue to develop their understanding of these hazards and the considerations needed to resolve any emergency incidents, should they materialise.”
Residents can mitigate the chances of their devices igniting by ensuring they are stored in cool areas, making sure nothing is covering them or blocking their extractors from working.
Never store electronic devices in hot vehicles or areas prone to high-temperatures.
Don’t use counterfeit chargers and attachments and avoid leaving your devices to charge overnight.
To read more on electrical fire safety, visit: https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/your-safety/safety-at-home/electrical-safety/