Batteries caused the spark for damaging South Croydon blaze

Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a flat fire on Purley Oaks Road in South Croydon yesterday.

Risk: lithium-ion batteries, common in many household devices, are a common cause of fires

Part of a flat on the first floor of a converted semi-detached house was damaged by fire and a small part of a flat on the ground floor was also damaged by the blaze.

One man was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews after suffering from smoke inhalation.

The fire is believed to have been caused by the failure of lithium-ion batteries.

“Batteries can present a fire risk if they’re overcharged, short-circuited, submerged in water or damaged.

Dark moment: two homes on Purley Oaks Road were damaged in the fire

“So it’s really important to protect them against being damaged and charge them safely,” said a London Fire Brigade spokesperson.

“Unplug devices once they have finished charging and always make sure you use the right charger for your device.”

The Brigade reports that it was called just before 3am yesterday and the fire was under control by 4.20.

Crews from Croydon, Purley, Woodside and Wallington fire stations attended the scene.

Firefighters’ battery safety tips

  • Always use the charger that came with your device
  • If you need to buy a replacement, always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are lots of fakes out there, and it can be difficult to spot the difference
  • Avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures
  • Protect batteries against being damaged – that’s crushed, punctured, or immersed in water.

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