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​Concerns raised about zombie batteries in time for Halloween

A Halloween campaign has been launched to highlight and combat the serious fire risk of so called “zombie lithium batteries”

Posted on 26 October 2020

A zombie battery is one that is flat or no longer required and has made its way into the waste or recycling system. There, a damaged Li-ion battery can cause an explosion or fire. 

Hundreds of such fires caused by the “dead” batteries have been reported at waste and recycling sites alone and this can endanger lives. 

The danger arises when batteries in general waste or recycling become damaged by crushing, squashing or puncturing when they are collected or processed, which generates heat and can lead to the batteries igniting.

The danger is being flagged in a campaign called “Take Charge”, organised by Environmental Standards Agency (ESA).

Demand for Lithium-ion batteries is growing massively because of the huge appetite for new technology, from phones to tablets and laptops, to cameras and e-cigarettes. 

The ESA is urging people to recycle batteries responsibly. You can find out more information about how to do this on their website.

Leigh Day partner Jill Paterson said:

“We urge consumers to make sure that they dispose of lithium batteries responsibly and safely, to prevent the danger that they can cause when they make their way into the wrong part of the waste and recycling system.” 

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Jill Paterson

Jill Paterson

Partner in the product safety team with particular experience in fire appliance injury claims.