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Fire risks associated with Lithium-Ion Batteries in Apartments

Updated: Mar 22

Lithium-ion batteries have become common place in our modern lives, powering everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. However, while these batteries offer convenience and portability, they also come with potential risks if not handled properly. Incidents of fire and explosions related to lithium-ion batteries have been reported worldwide, highlighting the importance of understanding and mitigating these risks, particularly in strata properties.

To ensure the safe use of lithium-ion batteries in apartment complexes, it's important to follow best practice safety and usage guidelines. Here are some important tips to minimise risks and maximise safety:


  • Always purchase lithium-ion batteries from reputable manufacturers and authorised dealers.

  • When installing batteries, engage suitably qualified and certified contractors for permanent battery installations like solar panel battery banks.

  • Avoid cheap or counterfeit chargers, use only recommended chargers to avoid overcharging and safety hazards.


  • Periodically inspect devices and batteries for signs of damage, such as swelling or leakage.

  • Cease using devices showing abnormalities and replace the battery immediately.

  • Keep updated on product recalls or safety notices related to devices and batteries.


  • Ensure devices are unplugged once fully charged to prevent overcharging.

  • Charge devices in well-ventilated areas.

  • Avoid covering devices during charging to dissipate heat.

  • Charge devices on hard surfaces to prevent overheating.

  • Protect batteries from extreme temperatures, including high heat and humidity, to prevent thermal runaway.

  • Install and maintain a Battery Management System (BMS) for lithium batteries used in renewable energy systems.

  • Monitor cell voltage, current, and temperature to prevent thermal runaway incidents.

  • Lithium-ion batteries should not be exposed to temperature extremes whether they are in use or stored. If you need to store lithium-ion batteries for an extended period, ensure they are partially charged (around 40-60%).


  • Ensure responsible disposal of failed or redundant batteries.

  • Utilise local recycling centres or electronic retailers offering battery recycling programs.

If a fire is triggered, ensure apartment owners and occupiers follow emergency procedures and call 000 for emergency assistance. It is important that each strata complex has an evacuation plan, and all occupants are aware of it.

Strata communities can do a lot to minimise fire risks in their buildings.

Regular fire safety checks should be at the very top of the strata committee’s list. Mandatory fire safety requirements will differ from state to state so each property’s strata committee should be aware of their local requirements.

Fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, sprinklers and smoke alarms, should be serviced and maintained regularly to ensure they are in good working order and fire doors need to be clear of any obstructions.

Being proactive about battery safety not only protects you and your property but also contributes to the responsible and sustainable use of technology. For more information about lithium battery safety, you can download CHU’s fact sheet as a useful tool for communicating the risks associated with lithium batteries with strata property owners.

Download the document below to read on!

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Disclaimer: Insurance issued by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited ABN 78 003 191 035 and distributed by CHU Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd ABN 18 001 580 070 AFSL 243261. Any advice in this article is general in nature and does not take account of your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’), Financial Services Guide (‘FSG’), and the Target Market Determination (‘TMD’) which can be viewed at or obtained by contacting CHU directly. CHU Services Pty Ltd t/as CHU Inspect (ABN 99 616 086 269).

This article was brought to you by CHU Underwriting Agencies


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