Lithium ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices, including smart phones, laptops, scooters, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, and toys. Handle these batteries carefully. In rare instances, they can cause a fire or explosion.

  • Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions that come with the device.
  • Only use the battery that is designed for the device.
  • Put batteries in the device the right way.
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the device.
  • Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.
  • Avoid excessive charging. Constantly charging a device can reduce the battery’s life or cause the battery to stop working.
  • Keep lithium ion batteries at room temperature.
  • Do not place lithium ion batteries in direct sunlight or keep them in hot vehicles.
  • Avoid using a device in a highly damp or humid environment.
  • Store lithium ion batteries away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Avoid crushing, bending, or dropping a device and charger.
  • Stop using the lithium ion battery and contact the manufacturer if you notice any of the following problem signs.
    • Odour
    • Change in colour
    • Too much heat
    • Change in shape
    • Leaking
    • Odd noises
  • If you notice the battery or device is sparking or smoking call 911. If it is safe to do so, move the battery or device outside and away from anything that could catch fire.

Battery Disposal

Lithium-ion batteries are household hazardous waste and should never be placed in the garbage, Blue Bin (recycling) or Green Bin (organics). Bring lithium-ion batteries to one of the City’s Drop-Off Depots or a Community Environment Day for safe disposal.

You can also arrange a free Toxic Taxi pickup from the City if you have between 10 to 50 litres/kilograms of household hazardous waste.

Improper storage and disposal of batteries can cause fires. Place batteries in a clear plastic bag or seal terminals with clear packing tape, duct tape or electrical tape. Store batteries in a cool, dry place and drop them off for safe disposal as soon as possible. Damaged batteries should be dropped off for safe disposal immediately.

  • Take precautions if you are using “smart” luggage with non-removable lithium ion batteries. The powerful batteries can potentially overheat and pose a fire hazard during airplane flights. Some airlines no longer accept this luggage, either as checked or carry-on.
  • In some instances, “smart” bags with removable batteries can be allowed on a flight if the battery can be removed on site and taken on board with the passenger. Check with your airline for restrictions.
  • Many hover boards and electric scooters have been linked to fires. Some of these fires have involved the lithium battery charger. Exercise caution if you are using these devices.
  • Choose a device that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Read and follow manufacturer’s directions.
  • An adult should be responsible for charging the device.
  • Do not leave a charging device unattended.
  • Never leave the device plugged in overnight.
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the device.
  • Stop using the device if it overheats.
  • If you notice any odour, leaking, excessive heat or odd noises stop using the device and contact the manufacturer.
  • If you notice any sparking, smoking, or flames call 911. If it is safe to do so, move the device outside and away from anything that could catch fire.

Lithium Ion Battery Safety for Consumers

Safety information provided above has been sourced from The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).