Here's a full transcript of the episode.
Rob Carnie: Featuring Greg Marcyniuk at Heritage Insurance in Downtown, Moose Jaw today. Greg, we all have cell phones these days, we all have laptops, and most of these devices run on lithium batteries. And alarming fact, the number of fires due to lithium batteries malfunctioning is growing. And we're here to talk about that today.
Greg Marcyniuk: Yeah, that's right, Rob. In fact, in the last five years, there has been over 25,000 incidents of either the battery overheating or fire instances. So, why do actually lithium batteries catch fires? Basically, its lithium metal, and they form an anode material. And they come with several advantages, because they are easily rechargeable. They have the highest energy density of any battery at all out there, and as well, they deliver up to three times higher than any other battery type. But, generating all that electricity creates heat, which can lead to fires or even explosions. So, this is true if the battery is defective or damaged.
So, a few of the failing signs of a lithium battery and the chance of it either catching fire or exploding are such as heat. Now, it's completely normal for the batteries to generate a lot of heat when they are charging, but if your battery feels excessively hot to touch, there's a good chance that it's defective, and there could be a risk of fire. As well swelling, when a lithium battery fails, common sign is battery swelling or cracking. Sometimes, there's a lump or bulge or there's also leakage from the device.
The other thing is noise. Failing lithium batteries have been reported to make a hissing or a cracking sound. And odor, if there is a strong or unusual odor coming from the battery, this is also a bad sign.
Smoke? This one is pretty much obvious. It is on fire. You got to deal with it immediately. So, what do I do when this is happening and when the lithium battery is failing? Immediately, turn off your device and unplug it from the power source. Slowly, make a move with the device and make sure you're away for many other flammable materials. And use either tongs or gloves to avoid actually touching or the device with your bare skin. Call the device manufacturer or the retailer for further instructions.
Now, how can you prevent fires? First of all, follow the instructions as far as storage, use, charging, and maintenance. Replace batteries with components and chargers that are specifically designed and approved for your device, and watch for your charge. Avoid charging your device on flammable material such as Palo, under your bed, or on your couch. Unplug your device once it is completely charged, unplug it, and leave it unplugged.
Store the batteries properly. They should be stored in a cool dry place, and do not place the batteries in direct sunlight. And periodically inspect for damage with any of the above signs that I've just mentioned.
Rob Carnie: And these lithium batteries are found in electric cars as well, right?
Greg Marcyniuk: Yeah, they're in the electric cars, they're in laptops. They're in smart phones, like every device pretty much nowadays do utilize the lithium battery. So, again, I think we're gonna see it more and more predominant in the future, so, just good idea to keep an eye on it.
Rob Carnie: Caution is advised, and you can find these tips online.
Greg Marcyniuk: That's correct, heritageinsurance.ca, or come on down the corner of First and Fairford West, and we'd be happy to give you one.
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