Know Your Battery
January 25, 2024

Safe Shopping Tips

Can you guess how many products on the store shelves contain lithium-ion batteries? It's probably more than you think. Because lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and can store a lot of energy in a small space, you'll find them in everything from smartphones, laptops, and power banks to electric toothbrushes and e-scooters. It's important to know which items in your household contain these batteries because they come with safety risks, which can increase when you use counterfeit batteries or chargers. 

Low-quality, counterfeit lithium-ion batteries and chargers can cause fires from thermal runaway, putting your loved ones at risk. They can also cause device failures. As you shop for birthday or holiday gifts this year, here are three research-based tips to help you find safe products. 

shopping tip 1Shopping tip #1: Always order batteries and chargers directly from the manufacturer of the device you need it for.

Batteries and chargers tend to be made for use in specific devices, and using the wrong one increases the safety risks, including thermal runaway (uncontrollable temperature rise and fire). They also may not power your device correctly, leading to failure. Buy directly from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to avoid the dangers and downsides of a counterfeit product.

shopping tip 2Shopping tip #2: Make sure the products you're buying comply with national safety requirements.

When purchasing lithium-ion batteries or chargers, stick to products that are safety certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Counterfeit products will sometimes bear false certification marks, which is why we also recommend you buy directly from the original equipment manufacturer. 

shopping tip 3Shopping tip #3: Know what high-quality batteries and chargers should look like and cost — then carefully check the one you're about to buy.

Familiarize yourself with the appearance of the authentic battery or charger you are looking for, including the brand name, logo, and packaging. Counterfeit products may have subtle differences in appearance, such as a misspelled brand name or a slightly different logo. Also, counterfeit products are often priced significantly lower than genuine ones. Check products carefully before using them.