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Keep Eyes on Charging Batteries and Cooking to Prevent Fires

    Lithium-ion battery (or li-ion battery) has the advantages of small size, high energy density, and no memory effect. It is widely used to 3C products such as mobile phones, laptops, and even electric vehicles. However, as the liquid electrolyte is flammable, people should pay extreme attention when using these products.
    According to the statistics of the fire department, 36 lithium battery fires have occurred and 13 people have been injured in the past six years, of which 30.6% are rechargeable batteries and mobile power banks respectively, and 16.7% are electric bicycles. In December 2019, a fire broke out in the warehouse for storing recycled lithium batteries, resulting in the injury of 10 firefighters. Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of wireless audio products, Japan, the United States, and Australia have also successively had scald cases caused by wireless headphones failure while used during sleeping. In view of this, the fire department suggests the following precautions when using such electronic products:

  1. Avoid overcharge and over-discharge, and use charger with overcharge or over-discharge protection.
  2. The charging time shall not be too long and the current shall not be too high. Batteries shall be charged to 70-80% when storing in a period of time.
  3. External force such as crush, damage, and strong impact should be avoided to the products. Also, do not charge in extreme temperature to prevent short circuits.
  4. Do not place combustibles around the charging batteries.
  5. Purchase products with certification marks through qualified distributors.
    Thus, according to the statistics from January to March this year, cooking fires accounted for 75% of the total fires, causing one citizen injured. The injured person left the kitchen with the stove was still on. During his firefighting process, he was scalded by splashing oil. The Fire Department reminds the public to avoid leaving the site while cooking. If things need to be done immediately, the stove and gas should be turned off first, or use a timer as an alarm. Besides, never use water to put out the oil fires. Due to the different density of oil and water, water used in oil fires not only splash the oil, but be evaporated into vapors through the stove heat, which causes bumping and helps spread the fire.
    The fire department asks people to pay more attention to the cooking and electrical fires, which are still the two major causes of fire in Taipei City. Make sure to install residential fire alarms and test regularly to strive for response and escape time, and reduce the risk of casualties.