Fire officials are issuing a warning after a charging drone battery caught fire, damaging a homeowner's pool table in Groveland, Massachusetts.
Groveland fire Chief Robert Lay said his department responded to a local home last week after a drone's battery that was plugged in charging on top of a pool table overheated, causing the table to catch fire.
Smoke detectors alerted the residents, and damage was contained to the room where it started. There were no injuries.
Lay said his department has encountered similar fires and carbon monoxide incidents in recent years stemming from charging batteries.
"Residents should be aware that these types of incidents are not uncommon. Any type of battery, whether it's in a drone, toy, or even a cell phone, creates heat and if they're on a combustible surface, they can cause a fire," he said.
The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services offers the following tips to prevent these types of incidents:
- Don’t place charging devices or devices in use on soft and/or combustible surfaces. The heat produced by the charging or use of the battery can get trapped around the battery and if left untouched, can damage the battery or device, or cause a fire.
- Always use approved chargers or charging systems intended for use with the device or battery pack. Non-approved chargers or systems may not work properly and can damage the battery or device, or cause a fire.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for charging. Don’t overcharge devices or leave them unattended for long periods of time. Overcharging can lead to a fire.
- Don’t charge or use batteries in extreme temperatures. Cold temperatures can cause a battery to not hold a charge while high temperatures (or prolonged exposure to sunlight) can cause a malfunction and lead to a fire.
- Replace and properly discard damaged batteries. Using damaged batteries may lead to thermal runaway which can cause a fire.