After finishing the Christmas decoration this year, Damian Morris added some more batteries and did what many people did --
Put in a drawer for future use.
The loose battery caused a fire that could destroy his Charlottetown. E. I. , home.
Morris said he had no idea the battery would be so dangerous and he was sharing his story to warn others --
Experts say this fire is more common than most Canadians realize.
Health Canada says it has received more than 100 consumer reports on batteries over the past year
From overheating to fire.
"Any type of battery can be a problem," said Andrew Hulan, a product safety officer at Health Canada . ".
"When the battery does fail, we tend to see more problems with lithium-ion batteries.
It happens to be a material of lithium --
Structure and air reaction of ion batteries.
"If the battery is destroyed, it will almost fail in the form of an explosion," he said . ".
On July, the Newfoundland and Labrador fire Association issued a warning after two fires were blamed on lithium. ion batteries.
One of the fires led to the homeless of a brother and sister in St.
John because of the battery on the radio.
Control the toy car.
The fire scare in Charlottetown was not so tragic.
"At 2: 30 in the morning, we heard the smoke detector ring.
I got up to pick up my children.
"My wife stood up and said, 'I smell something strange,'" Morris said '. ".
They went downstairs and found that the main floor of the house was full of smoke, the smoke in the kitchen was the worst, and smoke billowed from the kitchen drawer.
"I opened the drawer and it was on fire.
I shut it down soon.
"I grabbed the drawer and asked my wife to open the patio door and I threw it outside," Morris said . ".
"The damage caused by the fire is not so serious.
Mainly smoke damage.
Emergency crews arrived, Morris said, and the fire chief determined that the "c" and "d"-sized batteries he had stored in the drawer caused a fire.
"The two male ends of the battery are connected together to generate thermal energy and fire the combustible plate towels," he said . ".
Raynald Marchand, general manager of the Canadian Safety Council, warned that problems often arise when charging batteries near fabrics and other combustible materials.
He said: "It's important that when you charge a rechargeable battery, you charge it in a safe area so they don't overheat and it's better to charge them when you get home.
"Computers with large batteries often charge on a sofa or bed, generating quite a bit of heat when charging.
He said lithium.
Ion batteries are particularly worrying because they encapsulate a lot of power and the contacts or terminals are usually along one side.
"If you take the battery of your laptop or camera, all the terminals are on one side, so if these terminals are set on a wet towel, or other issues are bigger," Marchand said.
The main reason for the problem, Hulan said, is that people don't follow the instructions that come with the battery, especially when it comes to charging.
"The battery is designed to be charged at a specific current and under electric pressure.
"If the charger you are using is not rated on your battery, then you increase the possibility of overheating and damage to the battery," Hulan said . ".
Both Marchand and Hulan indicated that the battery needs to be stored properly in the original container, or other non-
Conductive packaging to prevent short circuit.
They say used batteries should be taken to a proper recycling center and never throw in garbage or fire.
Hulan also warned against improper storage of watches, greeting cards and small "button" batteries commonly found in some toys and LED lights.
Health Canada, he said, has investigated cases in which many young children get small batteries and swallow them.
"This battery can actually burn through their esophagus, trachea or stomach, which leads to very serious and potentially fatal injuries," he said . ".
Hulan said anyone experiencing battery problems should report to Health Canada.
Morris said he was glad he was at home when the fire broke out.
Or maybe their house was destroyed.
As the holiday approaches and battery usage increases, he says, he wants more people to pay attention to warnings about battery safety.