Avoiding fire risks associated with laptop batteries

Majority of U.S. households have at least one laptop

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An apartment fire in Agawam started by a laptop battery, left three people without permanent shelter on Wednesday night.

Roughly 80 percent of U.S. households contain at least one laptop, according to the Pew Research Center.

Laptop battery blamed for Agawam apartment fire

Agawam Fire Chief Alan Sirois told 22News a laptop battery caused a fire in an Agawam apartment Wednesday. There are things you can do to prevent putting your device and yourself in jeopardy, like not leaving your laptop plugged in or charging on your bed.¬†Leaving your laptop on your bed can block it’s vents, and cause it to overheat.

Chris Bovino at Northeast IT in West Springfield told 22News that the age of your battery can also make your laptop more susceptible to catching fire.

Lithium ion battery safety tips

“If you suspect that your battery is getting old you wanna replace it with an OEM battery,” Bovino said. “So if you have an HP laptop, make sure you buy an HP battery. If you have a Dell laptop make sure you buy a Dell battery. Don’t buy any of the third party types.”

Last month, HP recalled 50,000 Lithium ion batteries over fire risks. If you purchased that laptop brand between December 2015 and December 2017, you should contact the manufacture. Click here for more information about the recall.