Power Tool Safety
18 July 2022
A quick Health and Safety tip to share with your team.
Cordless power tools can be worth their weight in gold on a building site, but the high-power lithium-ion batteries that make these devices possible are responsible for a growing number of fires, says BRANZ.
Tools with the battery in place (and even spare batteries) sitting in the sun in the back of vehicles, where temperatures can reach 40°C in warmer months, can be a fire risk. Batteries left charging for extended periods, such as overnight, are also causing problems.
Fire & Emergency New Zealand is being called out to a rapidly growing number of incidents around lithium-ion batteries, some involving power tools.
To maximise the life of a cordless tool and reduce the risk of lithium-ion battery fires:
- Don’t leave tools in locations where they can get very hot
- Make sure to use the right charger for the battery
- Don’t leave them connected to chargers for extremely long periods
- Use only recommended batteries, not cheaper counterfeits
- Dispose of batteries properly—don’t add to ordinary rubbish.
Finally, avoid subjecting a battery to excessive mechanical shock and/or vibration. Cracked, dented and/or compressed batteries can catch fire unexpectedly at any time.