Rockland fire officials share holiday safety message about lithium-ion batteries

Fire and safety experts held demonstrations at the county’s Fire Training Center in Pomona Thursday to show how lithium-ion batteries can quickly explode when overcharged.
They also showed videos of fires caught on camera from these types of batteries including an e-bike fire at a barbershop in Hillcrest that happened in June.
They shared their message because many gifts and everyday items use lithium-ion batteries.
"We don't want the public to be afraid of using products and devices that have lithium batteries,” said Fire & Emergency Services Director Chris Kear. “We just want to educate the public about the safety on how to charge them, how to store them."
There have been five lithium-ion battery-related fires in Rockland since the county began tracking them two years ago.
"Don't overcharge them. Don't leave them on beds. Don't leave them on couches, if it's a computer or cellphone. It's recommended to not charge an e-bike in the house. It should be charging outside. And make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors this time of year, it's very important," said Kear.
He also says people should not use off-brand batteries or chargers.