Battery Safety - Made Easy

Batteries are an important part of everyday life. They can be found in our key chains, iPods, television remotes, laptops and of course, in our cell phones. We don't tend to give them much thought until they stop working.

With American wireless consumers making billions of calls every year, we should be mindful of the guidelines on wireless device and battery maintenance.

Battery Basics

The most common type of battery found in today's cell phones is the Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery. These batteries have a lot of energy in a small package – enabling longer battery life and more robust devices.

Li-Ion batteries are different than typical alkaline batteries, which are found throughout your home in things such as toys, flashlights and TV remotes. While it is highly unusual, there have been reports of overheating, fire, and ruptures in connection with the use of Li-Ion batteries. Therefore, consumers should be aware that Li-Ion batteries can react differently to a variety of pressures and impacts and need to be treated with care.

Safety Recommendations

CTIA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have developed a list of seven simple and easy consumer recommendations to help promote the safe use of cell phones, batteries and chargers.

  • Consumers should buy manufacturer or carrier recommended products and accessories designed for their wireless devices. Do not use incompatible cell phone batteries and chargers. Be wary of buying cheap batteries with what appears to be a name brand, as they might be counterfeit products that are not properly manufactured and could pose safety hazards. If you have any questions about the compatibility of a battery or a charger, contact the manufacturer.
  • Do not permit your battery's terminals to come in contact with metal objects such as coins, keys or jewelry. This could happen if you put the battery in your pocket, purse, or coin tray.
  • Do not crush, puncture, or place a high degree of pressure on the battery, such as sitting on the phone or battery.
  • Do not drop your cell phone. If you do drop your cell phone, especially on a hard surface, it could overheat and potentially cause damage to the phone and the battery. If you suspect damage to your cell phone or battery, take it to a service center for inspection.
  • Do not place the phone in or near areas that might get very hot, such as on a cooking surface, near a cooking appliance, an iron, glove compartment or radiator.
  • Do not get your phone or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to be operating normally, the internal circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
  • Follow battery usage, storage, and charging guidelines found in the user's guide.