Homeowner » Tips and Advice » Power Tool Safety

Power Tool Safety

18 July 2022

Power toolsA 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.

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