Drone Battery Fire Leads to Fire Safety Reminders

Burned pool table at a Groveland home. (Courtesy photograph.)

A Groveland firefighter inspects the burned battery.

A Groveland firefighter inspects the burned battery.

Improperly charging a drone battery caused a pool table to catch fire at a Groveland home last week.

It was the latest in a series of fires caused from battery charging, said Fire Chief Robert Lay.

“Residents should be aware that these types of incidents are not uncommon,” Lay said. “Any type of battery, whether it’s in a drone, toy or even a cell phone, creates heat and if they’re on a combustible surface, they can cause a fire.”

The drone battery that was being charged on top of a pool table. When it overheated, the table’s fabric caught fire, Groveland fire officials said Thursday. Residents were alerted to the fire from the home’s smoke detectors and damage was limited to the room of origin and there were no injuries. Similarly, a few weeks back, firefighters found an automobile battery, being charged indoors, was releasing an acid smell and causing a carbon monoxide detector to sound. Before that, firefighters responded to home after a three-foot helicopter began smoldering and burned a rug while its battery was charging on a carpeted bedroom floor.

To prevent fires, Lay recommended residents follow safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, which include not placing chargers or devices on soft and/or combustible surfaces, using approved chargers intended for use with the specific device or battery pack, not charging using batteries during extreme temperatures and avoiding damaged batteries.

Lay recommended automobile batteries be charged outdoors, or in a well-ventilated area.