Have you been injured or affected by a fire that you think was caused by an overheating lithium battery?
Rechargeable batteries which contain the element lithium are able to store a lot of energy in a lightweight and compact form and are widely used in appliances such as laptop computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, and power tools, as well as in aircraft and cars.
In rare cases lithium batteries have overheated and caught fire. In 2013 Boeing grounded its fleet of 787 Dreamliners when the overheating of the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries caught fire.
More recently, following testing, the US Federal Aviation Administration warned that lithium batteries could cause major fires after releasing explosive gases when overheating. Bulk load of lithium batteries are often transported by air.
Lithium is a highly reactive substance. If there is any damage, or a small fault, in the battery this can cause a short-circuit and build-up of heat leading to the battery bursting into flames. Lithium batteries can be damaged when used in hot environments, and also by excessive discharging and charging. If lithium batteries do catch fire they can cause fierce explosions and create fires that are difficult to put out.
In the UK a number of consumers have reported injuries after being burnt in appliances fires related to lithium-ion batteries, including fires in phone chargers, laptops and in e-cigarettes.
Fire rescue services in the UK have reported an increase in serious house fires that have been caused by lithium batteries overheating.
A number of product recalls have taken place in recent years for products containing lithium batteries, often as a precautionary measure by manufacturers.
If you have been injured, or suffered financial loss, for example if your property has been damaged after an appliance has caught fire you may be able to bring a compensation claim.
The consumer law and product safety team at Leigh Day has unrivalled experience in settling compensation claims for consumers who have been injured because of faulty and dangerous appliances.
To speak to a member of the product safety team please contact Jill Paterson on 020 7650 1219.