On September 2, 2016, Samsung Corporation announced a recall (see below) of its new Galaxy Note7 smart phone because of battery cell fires. They have stopped sales and will replace existing phones. Consumers can expect details about the recall program shortly.
As of September 1, 2016, Samsung was aware of 35 fire incidents worldwide. On September 3, 2016, Winthrop Fire Department responded to an incident reportedly caused by one of these new phones while it was being charged. Smoke from the phone triggered the fire alarm and heat scorched the nightstand at the private ambulance company.
Report Incidents to Consumer Product Safety Commission:
As with all such incidents, they should be reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) immediately at www.cpsc.gov.
Safety Tips for Charging Electronics with Lithium Ion Batteries
Problems with rechargeable lithium ion batteries are not new. Here are some safety tips for public education:
Don’t place charging devices or devices in use on soft and/or combustible surfaces. The heat produced by the charging or use of the battery can get trapped around the battery and if left untouched, can damage the battery or device, or cause a fire.
Always use approved chargers or charging systems intended for use with the device or battery pack. Non-approved chargers or systems may not work properly with lithium-ion battery packs and can damage the battery or device, or cause a fire.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for charging. Don’t overcharge devices or leave them unattended for long periods of time. Overcharging can lead to a fire.
Don’t charge or use lithium-ion batteries in extreme temperatures. Cold temperatures can cause a battery to not hold a charge while high temperatures (or prolonged exposure to sunlight) can cause a malfunction and lead to a fire.
Replace and properly discard damaged batteries. Using damaged batteries may lead to thermal runaway which can cause a fire.
Further assistance is always available from the Division of Fire Safety on this and similar issues. If you have further questions, please contact the Code Compliance Help Desk at (978)567-3375.