The Power Tool Institute encourages consumers, contractors, and educators to “take charge of their battery” through an extensive education and awareness campaign that promotes the safe use of lithium-ion batteries in power tools.
The Power Tool Institute’s campaign describes ways to reduce risks by choosing batteries from the original power tool manufacturer—which are designed to share the same circuitry and best operate with matching power tools—and avoid aftermarket or counterfeit batteries, which may not undergo the same safety testing. It also explains how to properly store and transport the batteries to limit risks, and how to recognize indicators that a battery is no longer operating properly and how to safely dispose of it.
“Lithium-ion batteries are quickly becoming more common in power tools and are revolutionary for their increased efficiency, energy storage capacity, and durability,” said Susan Orenga of the Power Tool Institute. “But what many don’t realize is that these batteries also come with some serious risks when used improperly. We hope to reach as many consumers, contractors, and educators as possible with this campaign to significantly reduce the risks associated with improper use of lithium-ion batteries.”
The Power Tool Institute provided this advice:
- Know that batteries are not interchangeable. It’s important to only use batteries and chargers from the original power tool manufacturer. Original-manufacturer batteries are specifically engineered and tested for use with the tools and chargers from the original manufacturer.
- Aftermarket batteries may not be tested to the same standards as original manufacturer batteries and therefore may come with additional hazards that can result in fire, property damage, or personal injury.
- Always transport and store lithium-ion batteries as instructed in the owner’s manual.
- Avoid contact with metal objects, such as keys, coins, screws and nails, and also liquids, which present safety hazards. Inspect batteries regularly for signs of damage, such as crushing, cuts, or punctures. Do not use a battery that has received a sharp blow, has been dropped, or is damaged.
- Never modify, disassemble, or tamper with a battery. The performance of damaged or modified batteries can be unpredictable and dangerous.
- When disposing of a lithium-ion battery, never throw it into the trash or a municipal recycling bin, as it can become a fire hazard. Instead, take it to a local recycling center or place it in a receptacle specifically designed for recycling batteries. If your lithium-ion battery is damaged, contact the manufacturer.