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When used properly, batteries aren’t dangerous, but they can present a fire risk when over-charged, short-circuited, submerged in water or damaged.

You should never put batteries into your recycling or waste containers, as they can cause fires in the collection vehicle or at the waste management facility. In addition, batteries need to be collected, transported and recycled separately to make sure the heavy metals they contain (for example, nickel and cadmium) do not leak out and pollute the local environment.

Household batteries, including AA, AAA, ‘button’ and rechargeable batteries, can be recycled at most leading supermarkets and household recycling centres.

Details of local authority recycling facilities can be found on their websites:

Rechargeable batteries

Lithium-ion batteries or li-ion batteries (sometimes called LIBs) are the lightweight, rechargeable batteries that power our phones, laptops and cameras. They’re found in many electrical devices from mobility scooters to e-cigarettes, and are used safely by millions of people every day. For specific advice on e-bikes and e-scooters click here.

Some of the key risks associated with lithium-ion batteries include:

To mitigate these risks, manufacturers implement various safety features in lithium-ion batteries, such as built-in protection circuits, thermal cut off switches, and flame-retardant materials. Additionally, proper handling, storage, and usage practices can help reduce the likelihood of fires associated with lithium-ion batteries.

Actions to take if a lithium-ion battery fire occurs

When these batteries are heated this will cause a pressure rise with the risk of bursting and exploding and will start to give off toxic fumes from the initial stages. Lithium batteries are more difficult to extinguish than normal fires, so everyone should evacuate the building and someone must call 999.

Please follow this guidance to keep you and your devices safe, whether you are at work or at home:

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