City of Reno, NV

11/30/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2023 19:18

Charging Laptop Causes Fire on Marlette Avenue

The Reno Fire Department determined that a charging laptop computer ignited a fire on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at singe-story home at 1935 Marlette Avenue.

At approximately 6:56 a.m., fire fighters responded to the structure fire that caused extensive damage throughout the entire home. Three women who lived in the home have been displaced.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in a bedroom accidentally from a laptop computer that was charging on the top side of a bed.

"Lithium-ion batteries store a lot of energy in a small amount of space," said Tray Palmer, Fire Marshal with the Reno Fire Department. "When that energy is released in an uncontrolled manner, it generates enough heat that can ignite the internal components of the battery or nearby combustibles. Lithium-ion battery fires occur for a variety of reasons, including physical damage, overcharging, exposure to extreme temperatures, and product defect."

The Reno Fire Department would like to offer some safety tips when charging, storing, and using lithium-ion batteries in portable electrical devices:

  • Purchase batteries that are only listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and labeled accordingly.

  • Stop charging a battery once it is full.

  • Use charging equipment that is only compatible with your device. To be safe, use only the charging equipment that is supplied with your device.

  • Stop using your device if the battery shows signs of damage, such as an unusual odor, excessive heat, popping sounds, swelling, or change in color.

  • Have all repairs performed by a qualified professional.

When it comes to e-bikes, e-scooters, and electric vehicles, the safest place to charge these devices is outdoors away from any structure or enclosure and not in direct sunlight. Do not charge a battery when either the charger or the battery is damaged. Do not store batteries in extremely hot or cold locations or in an area that blocks the only exit out of to a room. And do not attempt to modify the battery or charger.

More information can be found at the National Fire Protection Association website: