Firefighters in Crawley are urging residents to dispose of lithium-ion batteries safely following a recent incident that resulted in a fire. The fire was caused by an electric scooter, which had been thrown into a household bin and subsequently ignited in the back of a refuse collection lorry.
Upon receiving the emergency call on Wednesday, the fire crews quickly responded and managed to extinguish the fire. To prevent any potential reignition, they submerged the electric scooter in water at the Crawley recycling centre.
Christopher Barker, Watch Manager at Crawley Fire Station, highlighted the dangers of disposing of all types of batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, in general waste or recycling bins. This incident serves as a clear example of the serious risks involved. When batteries are crushed during the collection and sorting process, they can become damaged and cause flammable materials such as paper and plastics to catch fire.
Barker emphasised the proper disposal methods for lithium-ion batteries. Larger batteries, like those found in e-scooters, should be taken to the nearest recycling center, where knowledgeable staff can provide guidance on how to dispose of them safely. Furthermore, many shops and supermarkets offer designated collection points for small batteries, and local recycling centers are also an option.
In an effort to raise awareness and educate the community about the safe disposal of items containing lithium-ion batteries, the Blue Watch crew from Crawley Fire Station has been visiting local waste disposal sites.