Battery Technology is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Why Batteries Catch on Fire

Video-Why Batteries Catch on Fire

This iFixit video explains how and why the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones and other consumer devices can suddenly heat up and catch on fire.

There’s been a lot of news on lithium-ion batteries in phones, laptop computers, and e-scooters heat up and catch fire, potentially leading to costly product damage, and worse, potential injury to users.

In this iFixit video from several months ago, several iFixit staffers explain the problem of thermal runaway, when the battery’s internal temperature exceeds safe operating limits and increase the risk of dangerous overheating. The staffers warn that anyone wishing to replace a worn-out battery in one of these devices should discharge the battery as much as possible before handling it, as the amount of stored energy in the device will much less likely be enough to create a thermal runaway condition.

The video concludes by showing a battery whose capacity is much larger than one in a portable mobile overheating and blowing up, to vividly illustrate the potential danger if a battery’s condition is ignored and safe handling practices are not adhered to.


weerapatkiatdumrong/ from iStock collection/Courtesy of Getty Images PlusGettyImages-batteryfire486667604.jpg

Lithium-ion batteries can overheat and catch fire if safe usage and handling practices are not adhered to.


Batteries Catching Fire

Warning! Do NOT try replicating any of these experiments in the video on your own. Just watch and learn from viewing the video here.



TAGS: Lithium Ion
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.