Everett Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a fire at a residence in the Riverside neighborhood on the morning of October 9th. Everett Fire crews were dispatched to the 2100 block of Walnut Street just after 11:35 a.m. to a report of a house fire with flames coming from a window. Engine 2 arrived on the scene within a minute of the call to find light smoke showing from the residence. A window air conditioner was found on fire, which has spread to a piece of nearby furniture in the room. A water supply was quickly established, and firefighters contained and quickly extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading throughout the rest of the home. Occupants of the home self-evacuated, and there were no injuries.
Preliminary information points towards a lithium battery-powered ‘jump starter battery pack’ as the likely cause of the fire, with flames spreading to the air conditioning unit in the window and nearby furniture. Lithium batteries supply power to many of our household devices, including smartphones, power banks, laptops, tablets, scooters, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys, and vehicles. These types of batteries store large amounts of energy and can pose a threat if not treated properly. Like any product, a small number of these batteries can be defective. Everett Fire wants you to take care when using them because, in rare cases, they can overheat, catch fire or explode.
Some safety tips when using Lithium-Ion Batteries include always following the manufacturer’s recommended instructions, only using the battery that is designed for the device, and storing batteries away from anything that can catch fire. Only using the charging cord that came with the device is another way of preventing battery fires. The power adapter that comes with devices is made specifically for that device, don’t buy a cheaper option for a replacement. Keeping batteries at room temperature is another important safety measure, leaving them in direct sunlight or in a hot vehicle increases the risk of fire. Stop using the battery if you notice an odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking or if you hear odd noises coming from the battery. Also remember to have working smoke alarms in your home. They are the first line of defense for early notification and evacuation should there be a fire.
For more information on lithium battery safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org) website.