26 September 2023

ESV shares hot warning about battery fires

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Victorians are being called on by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) to use manufacturer-approved batteries and chargers following a series of fires powering electrical appliances.

Chairperson and Commissioner of ESV, Marnie Williams said the fires had been caused by the use of incompatible batteries and chargers with electrical tools and gardening appliances.

Ms Williams said non-manufacturer approved, or aftermarket, batteries and chargers presented risks as they were potentially made of sub-standard cells or different chemistry – which may be incompatible with the original equipment or charger.

She said ESV was notified of a fire at a Frankston home last month, when a resident was charging a lithium-ion battery that was purchased online for a hedge trimmer.

“The battery was not sold by the original manufacturer, potentially did not comply with Australian Standards and was not compatible with the trimmer charger,” Ms Williams said.

“Fortunately, no one was injured and damage was minor,” she said.

“This type of incident is not new to ESV, which has investigated a series of similar incidents over the past few years.”

Ms Williams advised Victorians to ensure they used the right equipment to charge their devices.

She also urged people to ensure they always used manufacturer-approved chargers for their mobile phones to avoid fire and property damage.

“There’s a very good reason why these electrical product manufacturers also produce corresponding batteries and chargers,” the Commissioner said.

“You might think using non-compliant chargers and batteries that appear to have similar connections are safe, but in most cases they are not.

“To avoid the risk of a fire, please ensure you’re always using the right batteries and chargers,” she said.

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