On February 14th at 11:10pm the Everett Fire Department responded to an apartment fire at Housing Hope’s New Century Apartments at 2507 Howard Avenue. Thanks to smoke alarms and a sprinkler system, the fire didn’t spread beyond the occupant’s bedroom.
Here’s what the Everett Fire Department reported:
The apartment occupants reported hearing a loud pop, followed by the activation of the smoke alarm.
The residents found a fire in the bedroom and attempted to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher before the sprinkler system activated.
Firefighters arrived within minutes of the call and found the apartment’s sprinkler system had activated and extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading. The fire was contained in the apartment’s bedroom, and the second and third floors suffered water damage.
The Everett Fire Marshal’s Office investigated and concluded that lithium-ion batteries in the home likely caused the fire. They have ruled the fire as accidental.
Lithium-ion batteries are widely used to power various devices such as smartphones, laptops, power banks, tablets, toys, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, scooters, and vehicles. Since these batteries store a significant amount of energy, it is crucial to handle them with care. They can overheat, catch fire, or even explode if not treated properly. It is important to follow the recommended safety measures when using them. Everett Fire urges everyone to be cautious while handling lithium-ion batteries.
Here are some safety tips when using lithium-ion batteries:
- Only purchase and use devices, batteries, and charging equipment that are listed by a nationally recognized testing lab and labeled accordingly.
- Use charging equipment that is only compatible with your device. To be safe, use only the charging equipment that is supplied with your device.
- Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged.
- Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash. Recycling is always the best option. Take the batteries to a battery recycling location or contact your local waste department for disposal instructions.
- Stop using your device if the battery shows signs of damage, such as an unusual odor, excessive heat, popping sounds, swelling, or change in color.
- Only have device repairs performed by a qualified professional.
- Larger batteries and equipment such as power tools and electric scooters should be charged in the garage, shed or carport away from living spaces.
- Don’t charge or store battery devices near exits or along egress paths where they might hinder or block your escape should they catch fire or become involved in one.
For more information on lithium battery safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org) website.
This incident serves as a good reminder to have working smoke alarms in your home. They are the first line of defense for early notification and evacuation should there be a fire.