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FRNSW urges caution around Lithium-Ion batteries after Swansea fire

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Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging Hunter residents to remain vigilant around Lithium-Ion batteries… especially when they’re charging.

The warning comes after crews from Swansea, Belmont, Tingira Heights and Wallarah attended a fire, sparked by a cordless vacuum cleaner battery, about 1pm on Sunday 11 February at Lake Macquarie.

Thankfully, a working smoke alarm saved the occupant from harm.

The vacuum cleaner was charging inside a unit on the Old Pacific Highway, Swansea, when its Lithium-Ion battery burst into flames.

It then spread to a similar appliance, stored nearby.

After the smoke alarm sounded, the resident – who was cooking in the next room – and neighbours quickly removed both vacuum cleaners and extinguished the fire with water.

Firefighters then rushed to the scene.

They ventilated the unit and immersed the battery in a bucket of water to prevent re-ignition.

“Thanks to the smoke alarm, the apartment suffered only minor damage,” a FRNSW spokesperson said.

“Most importantly, no-one was injured.

“So, please ensure your home is fitted with at least one working smoke alarm and maintain a safety escape plan.”

Further FRNSW advice regarding Lithium-Ion batteries can be found at https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=9389

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