New Jersey Division of Fire Safety Highlights the Importance of Lithium-ion Battery Safety

  • Posted on: 06/30/2023

Division Offers Best Practices to Help Families Stay Fire Safe

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Fire Safety is today raising awareness about the importance of safe use and disposal of lithium-ion batteries.

The public is using an increasing number of lithium-ion batteries in devices such as smartphones, laptops, e-cigarettes, e-bikes, cars and more due to their ability to store a significant amount of energy in a small space. They offer a great advantage to consumers daily. While they are safe to use and offer many benefits, they can also pose risks when exposed to high temperatures or handled improperly.

“Governor Murphy and I would like to stress the importance of lithium-ion battery safety compliance when using them in your daily lives,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “Lithium-ion batteries are safe to use, when done so properly. But, with improper use, these batteries may explode and cause extreme fires. Following the guidelines provided by the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety can save lives.”

By following these safety guidelines, people can mitigate the potential risks associated with lithium-ion batteries and contribute to a safer environment for all.

The likelihood of lithium-ion batteries overheating, catching on fire, and even leading to explosions increases when they are damaged or improperly used, charged, or stored.

"The volume of fire created by these lithium-ion batteries is incredibly dangerous. It can make it nearly impossible to extinguish the fire before it results in serious injury or death," State Fire Marshal Richard Mikutsky said.

The State Fire Marshal advises the public to use and charge lithium-ion batteries properly. The Division of Fire Safety reminds the public that if used incorrectly or damaged, the batteries can catch fire or explode. To ensure people’s safety, follow these simple tips:

Lithium-ion Battery Safety Tips

  • Purchase and use devices that have been UL-certified tested and approved by a qualified laboratory.
  • Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions for charging and storage.
  • Use only the battery designed specifically for the device.
  • Only use chargers that are specifically designed for that particular device or battery.
  • Insert batteries into the device correctly.
  • Like any product, a small number of these batteries can be defective. They can overheat, catch fire, or explode.
  • Be aware of warning signs indicating battery problems, such as odor, color changes, excessive heat, shape deformities, leaks, or unusual noises. If safe to do so, move the device outside and away from potential fire hazards and contact emergency services at 9-1-1.
  •  Avoid charging devices under pillows, on beds, or on couches.
  • If the device is noticeably hot during charging, unplug it immediately.
  • Discontinue charging the device or battery as soon as it reaches full capacity.
  • Store batteries at room temperature whenever possible. Avoid charging them at temperatures below 32°F (0*C) or above 105*F (40*C).
  • Store batteries away from flammable materials.

When charging an e-bike, please adhere to the following safeguards:

  • Charge the battery in a flat, dry area away from children, direct sunlight, flammable liquids, and tripping hazards.
  • Ensure the e-bike is positioned securely to prevent the risk of falling.

Proper disposal of lithium-ion batteries is crucial to preventing environmental and safety hazards. The Division of Fire Safety recommends the following battery disposal guidelines:

  • Do not dispose of lithium-ion batteries in the trash.
  • Recycling is the preferred option for battery disposal.
  • Take batteries to a battery recycling location or contact local authorities for disposal instructions.
  • Avoid creating piles of discarded batteries.

  Additional lithium-ion battery safety resources can be found online here:

Lithium-Ion Battery Safety | NFPA

Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Tip Sheet

DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, disaster recovery and mitigation, historic preservation, and information privacy.

For more information about DCA, visit or follow the Department on social media: 

   DCa on Twitter


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