Lithium-ion battery explodes in Chelsea residence: ‘This could have been a very different story’


A lithium-ion battery meant for an electrical scooter burst into flames in a Chelsea residence, injuring 5 folks and prompting a reminder from fireplace officers on how you can safely deal with the favored gadgets.

Chelsea firefighters responded to 32 Carmel St., at about 12:40 a.m. final Saturday after receiving studies of a fireplace. As they arrived, they noticed smoke and flames on the primary ground within the rear of the three-story, four-unit dwelling, the state Hearth Marshal’s Workplace mentioned in a launch Wednesday.

Firefighters shortly extinguished the hearth, however 4 occupants of the constructing had been taken to the hospital for remedy of accidents that authorities described as not life-threatening.

The Chelsea Hearth Division and Massachusetts State Police fireplace investigators decided a  “lithium-ion battery intended for an electric scooter had been left charging for several hours, caught fire, and exploded,” the state Hearth Marshal’s Workplace mentioned within the launch.

“The high energy density of lithium-ion batteries means they pack a lot of power into a small device,” State Hearth Marshal Jon M. Davine mentioned. “Overcharging, overheating, and physical damage can cause them to fail rapidly and violently, like this one did. Fortunately, the residents were awake and aware of the danger. A few hours later and this could have been a very different story.”

Firefighters throughout Massachusetts are going through the “nearly impossible” activity of extinguishing lithium-ion battery fires greater than ever, in keeping with knowledge the state launched final month. The figures confirmed how such blazes have spiked sharply since final October.

Roughly 38 cities and cities recognized 50 lithium-ion battery fires between final October and the center of April, greater than double the annual common detected by a nationwide fireplace knowledge reporting system.

“The increase since last fall could be due to the growing number of consumer devices powered by these batteries, increased attention by local fire investigators, or other factors,” Davine mentioned final month.

The state Division of Hearth Providers created a guidelines final fall to make it simpler for native departments to trace the variety of fires attributable to lithium-ion batteries, which energy massive gadgets like electrical autos and smaller gadgets like smartphones and e-cigarettes.

“Lithium-ion batteries power many of the devices we use every day,” Chelsea Hearth Chief John Quatieri mentioned in a launch. “It’s important to use, charge, and store them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

“Always use the original charging equipment, disconnect it when the device is fully charged, and protect it from damage or abuse,” he added. “If you use an e-bike or electric scooter, store it outside if possible. If you must store it indoors, keep it clear of doors, windows, and other escape routes.”

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