PHOENIX — Phoenix firefighters rushed Thursday morning to extinguish a house fire near 27th and Northern avenues.
The cause of the fire? An electric bike with a lithium-ion battery, which was charging in a living area.
“This is our future. This is what we have now. Everything is battery-operated; cars, bikes, you name it, it’s got a battery in it,” said Phoenix Fire Captain Joe Huggins.
Lithium-Ion batteries are becoming more common. They’re often used in scooters, e-bikes, and electric cars.
When they catch fire, those flames can be hard to extinguish.
“They burn very, very hot and very long,” Huggins said.
Arizona State University regent professor Jerry Lin said lithium-ion batters were first developed 30 years ago. They offer the ability to store energy efficiently and can be recharged quickly.
However, they can burn for a long time when they catch fire.
“The main reason is the main components of lithium-ion batteries are combustible. Once they catch on fire, they burn like crazy,” Lin said.
Lin said researchers are working to find ways to make these types of batteries safer.
“The industry is fully aware of the issue. That’s why there is a lot of research and development to come up with fire-safe lithium-ion batteries,” Lin added.
In the meantime, Phoenix firefighters are training on how to handle these new types of fires.
To keep yourself safe, experts recommend following charging instructions, do not leave them unattended, and do not use damaged batteries.
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