We are increasingly dependent on batteries. These ubiquitous sources of energy are in everything from cars and phones, to watches and toys. However, these essential sources of power can be hazardous. A report from a U.K. environmental agency discovered that the incorrect disposal of batteries causes many fires. This costs fire services millions of dollars. The financial loss is much higher for those whose property has burnt down. A fire expert said: "These fires can be challenging…to deal with.…Everyone can do their bit…by disposing of batteries correctly."
The biggest culprits for fires starting are lithium-ion batteries. These can explode and start fires if they are crushed or they get wet. The agency told the BBC that, "more people are putting devices containing these batteries in with household waste". It said: "That causes a real problem because they have a tendency – when damaged – to explode or ignite.…They're likely to be crushed…or they might get wet.". It added: "They're in the presence of other flammable material…that can lead to quite big fires." We need to be mindful of the potential hazards of batteries.