Lithium-Ion Battery Safety

The Lebanon Fire Department reminds everyone to use caution and be aware of hazards with the use and storage of Lithium-Ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices including smartphones, laptops, scooters, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys, and even cars. In rare cases, they can cause a fire or explosion.


  • These batteries store a large amount of energy in a small amount of space.
  • Sometimes batteries are not used the right way; batteries not designed for specific use can be dangerous.
  • Like any product, a small number of these batteries are defective. They can overheat, catch fire, or explode.
  • Some major airlines no longer accept ‘smart’ luggage with non-removable lithium-ion batteries as checked or carry-on luggage because of potential overheating. In some instances, smart bags with removable lithium-ion batteries will be allowed on board if the battery can be removed on-site and taken on board with the customer. Check with your airline for restrictions.

Signs of a Problem

Stop using the battery if you notice any of the following:

  • Odor
  • Change in color
  • Too much heat
  • Change in shape
  • Leaking
  • Odd noises

If you notice any of the above signs and it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire. Call 9-1-1.

Safety Tips

  • Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Only use the battery that is designed for the device.
  • Put batteries in the device the right way.
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the device.
  • Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature.
  • Do not place batteries in direct sunlight or keep them in hot vehicles.
  • Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire

Battery Disposal

  • Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash.
  • Recycling is always the best option.
  • Take them to a battery recycling location or contact your community for disposal instructions.  For disposal in Lebanon, please refer to the Lebanon Landfill/Recycling Center's "What Goes Where?" web page for more information.  
  • Do not pile up discarded batteries. 

Information is provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Lebanon Fire Department.