Maintenance Minute: Save Your Tech!

Red mobile phone line iconPrevent Lithium Ion Battery Fires

Lithium ion batteries help keep you connected and take you on the go. They also store a lot of energy, can burn explosively, and may pose a serious threat if not properly cared for.

What Devices Have Lithium Ion Batteries?

Many commonly used devices have lithium ion batteries, including, but not limited to:

  • Cell phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • E-bikes
  • E-scooters
  • Electric toothbrushes

Caring for Lithium Ion Batteries


  • Purchase off-brand chargers.
  • Charge devices under a pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.
  • Store or charge your devices near your primary exit. If these devices catch on fire, you will not be able to escape.
  • Put your lithium ion batteries in the trash.


  • Use the charger that came with your device.
  • Look for a “UL” mark on your devices and chargers. Products that do not have this mark may not have been safety tested, could pose a fire hazard, and are not allowed in residence hall rooms.

Recycle Responsibly

Lithium ion batteries cannot be thrown in the trash. Here’s what to do:

  • Put clear packing tape over the contact points of the battery.
  • Recycle lithium ion batteries separate from other types of batteries
  • Visit the City of Madison website for complete recycling instructions and to find your nearest drop-off site.

Residence Hall Lithium Ion Battery Guidelines

  • A maximum of 8 grams total of lithium metal batteries are allowed in residence hall rooms.
  • A maximum of 1000 Watts per battery for lithium-ion batteries are allowed in residence halls rooms.
  • Residents are not allowed to dismantle or undertake repairs to any type of battery in their residence hall.
  • Residents can only use battery chargers that were intended to be used for the particular battery that is being charged.

Be safe. Stay informed. Visit