Tag: e-scooter fire

Australia has experienced a surge in the adoption of lithium-ion battery technology in recent times, and QLD is no exception. These small, lightweight, and versatile batteries have revolutionized various aspects of modern life, powering everything from smartphones to e-scooters, e-bikes, and home renewable energy storage systems. However, this remarkable advancement is accompanied by a concerning increase in lithium-ion battery fires in homes across Queensland.

QLD Lithium-Ion Battery Fires Increasing Significantly

Data compiled from each Australian state fire department reveals that since 2021, more than 450 fires related to lithium-ion batteries have occurred in Australia, with 157 of them in Queensland alone. Improper battery charging practices have been identified as one of the primary causes behind these alarming incidents. When consumers use incompatible battery chargers or leave their electronic devices, like e-scooters, charging unattended for extended periods, overcharging and overheating of the lithium-ion battery can occur.

What Causes Lithium-Ion Battery Fires?

Another significant cause of lithium-ion battery fires is manufacturing defects in either the battery charger or the battery itself. Poor quality control during production can lead to internal faults, increasing the risk of overheating and fire. Additionally, improper storage or transportation of lithium-ion batteries can cause short circuits and subsequent fires. To minimize this risk, it is crucial to avoid purchasing cheap lithium-ion batteries and chargers from unregulated online marketplaces and to opt for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products.

The nature of use for e-scooters and e-bikes exposes their batteries to rough handling and environmental elements, making them susceptible to damage that can result in internal short-circuits and fires. Even minor physical damage to the battery’s protective casing can create a pathway for ‘thermal runaway’, triggering a catastrophic fire event. When lithium-ion batteries fail, they undergo thermal runaway, leading to the violent bursting of battery cells, the release of toxic, flammable, and explosive gases, and an intense, self-sustaining fire. These fires are challenging to extinguish with water or regular fire extinguishers, and they can easily reignite after being put out.

Are The Lithium Batteries Dangerous In My Smoke Alarm?

This is a good question and one that needs to be asked. It would be ironic if smoke alarms designed to detect smoke and save lives were actually powered by lithium-ion batteries that are a major cause of house fires! Fortunately the same fire risk in lithium-ion batteries is not present in the 10-year lithium batteries sealed inside your smoke alarm. Why? The two small, 3V lithium batteries inside your smoke alarm are non-replaceable and non-rechargeable and are designed to deplete slowly and steadily over a 10-year lifespan. They do not undergo the repeated energy discharge / recharging process that much larger lithium-ion batteries do, and are not subjected to the same external forces of bumping, knocking and damage that scooters, e-bikes and other devices experience – this eliminates the associated fire and thermal runaway risk. Additionally, all smoke alarms sold in Australia should comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014 which incorporates stringent electrical testing of the smoke alarm itself, prior to sale.

Interconnected Smoke Alarm Battery Safety

It is essential that any interconnected smoke alarm purchased meets the Australian Standard 3786:2014 and bears the official Australian Standard mark and the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). The RCM signifies compliance with Australian electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility regulations, as outlined in Australian Standard 3820:2020. By avoiding cheap knock-offs lacking these marks, consumers can ensure they are purchasing legitimate, safe electrical appliances.

ZEN smoke alarms and your symbols of battery safety compliance

Top Tips For Preventing Lithium-Ion Battery Fires

  1. Use Manufacturer-Approved Chargers:
    • Always use the charger and power adapter that comes with your device or is recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Monitor Charging:
    • Charge batteries in a place where you can keep an eye on them and avoid charging overnight or when you’re not at home.
  3. Avoid Overcharging:
    • Unplug devices once they are fully charged to prevent overheating and reduce wear on the battery.
  4. Store Batteries Safely:
    • Keep batteries in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and flammable materials.
  5. Avoid Physical Damage:
    • Handle batteries with care to prevent drops, punctures, or any form of physical damage that could lead to internal short circuits.
  6. Check for Damage:
    • Regularly inspect batteries for signs of damage, swelling, or leakage. Stop using and properly dispose of any damaged batteries. This is particularly important for any transportation or mobility devices such as e-bikes or e-scooters.
  7. Keep Away from Extreme Temperatures:
    • Avoid exposing batteries to high or low temperatures, which can cause damage and increase the risk of fire.
  8. Don’t Mix Batteries:
    • Do not use old and new batteries, or batteries of different types and capacities, together in the same device.
  9. Proper Disposal:
    • Do not throw lithium-ion batteries in the regular wheelie bin to prevent potential fires. Ensure that you tape the terminals of used batteries with clear sticky tape before taking them to your local Council’s drop off point / recovery centre.
  10. Install Smoke Detectors:


The increase in lithium-ion battery fires necessitates a collaborative effort from manufacturers, regulators, and users to address this growing concern. While the advantages of lithium-ion batteries are undeniable, safety risks demand immediate attention. By enhancing safety regulations, improving manufacturing standards, and promoting responsible usage and recharging practices, Australia can fully embrace the lithium-ion battery revolution while ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for all.

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