Battery Safety

Due to their energy releasing and chemical properties, batteries must fulfill a series of international, European and national safety requirements during their production, transport, storage, use and end-of-life phase.

Battery Safety

Due to their energy releasing and chemical properties, batteries must fulfill a series of international, European and national safety requirements during their production, transport, storage, use and end-of-life phase.

Handling an electro-chemical energy storage system

No matter what design, application or technology, all batteries are electro-chemical devices optimized to store and release energy according to the application demand. Safety is, hence, a key priority for RECHARGE and the European advanced rechargeable and lithium battery industry.

Designed for Safety

Batteries are designed and manufactured to withstand normal or reasonable, foreseeable conditions of use and damage for a very long time.

  • Battery design: Batteries are sealed units and their single parts are carefully assembled to withstand the application’s environmental conditions.
  • BMS: Sophisticated battery management systems prevent batteries from working outside of their safe operating mode.
  • Application management: High-quality batteries are designed to meet the needs of a very specific application.
  • Material design: Advanced battery manufacturers invest a lot of time and effort in innovative and safe material design.
  • Testing: Batteries undergo extensive testing before they can be placed on the European market. Standard testing includes external short circuit, abnormal charge and forced discharge as well as exposure to heat, projectiles, drops, crush, shock or vibration.

Global Safety Strategy

Battery safety is a key priority for RECHARGE. Our global safety strategy includes the creation of general safety information, best practice guidance, emergency response guidance notes and dedicated information for professionals.

As active member of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and co-chair of the SAE G-27 standardization committee for Safety Test of Lithium Batteries Packaging, RECHARGE is working with other industry experts on standardized hazard classification processes, packaging requirements, testing procedures and safety obligations for the transport of (lithium) batteries. We are a relevant contributor to other working groups and committees too.

Safety Advice

“We want to educate society on the safe use of battery power. Batteries are used in so many different applications that people sometimes forget that these are energy sources”, Claude Chanson, General Manager at RECHARGE. You can obtain here our general advice on the most frequent errors, myths and safety breaches. For detailed information, always consult the instruction manual of your battery or battery-powered equipment.


Unprofessional repair or the use of unsuitable spare parts can decrease the safety of your battery. Do not modify, open, damage or otherwise manipulate a battery.

Severe damage or exposure to extreme mechanic stress can result in unforeseeable chemical or electro-chemical reactions.

Using non-original batteries, batteries designed for another application, or inadequate charging systems, as well as combining different batteries, can decrease the safety of your battery or battery-powered equipment.

Exposure to direct sunlight, heating sources or liquids can lead to temperature increase and short-circuit. Batteries and battery-powered equipment are to be used or stored dry, cool and well ventilated.


Due to their chemical properties, lithium-ion batteries are prone to ignite under particular circumstances such as damage or abuse. In case of damage or abuse, the various materials of a battery might no longer be separated from each other, potentially leading to chemical reactions that can increase the battery temperature.

To prevent lithium-ion batteries from potentially igniting in case of damage or abuse, they must be either discharged, partially discharged, separated from the device or application, or cooled down.

Fire brigade intervention manual


Due to the dual hazard properties associated with their chemical and electrical content, lithium metal batteries (UN 3090), lithium-ion batteries (UN 3480) as well as lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment or packed with equipment (UN 3481) are classified under CLASS 9 Dangerous Goods. Therefore, special transport and storage requirements apply.

UN transport and packaging obligations apply to lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride and sodium-nickel chloride batteries, too.

As active member of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and co-chair of the SAE G-27 standardization committee for Safety Test of Lithium Batteries Packaging, RECHARGE is working with other industry experts on standardized hazard classification processes, packaging requirements, testing procedures and safety obligations for the transport of (lithium) batteries.

In 2017 and 2018, RECHARGE organized the UN Informal Working Group meetings mandated to develop a new classification for lithium batteries according to their hazards, and to update the UN manual of tests and criteria.

RECHARGE, in cooperation with other EU/US industry associations, publishes a bi-annual guide on UN and regional transport, labelling, testing and packaging regulation for battery cells, batteries and battery-containing equipment such as vehicles and electronic devices. For more information, visit www.batteriestransport.org.


The majority of currently available battery chemistries contain hazardous substances. However, these substances are contained in the battery within sealed units, designed to not release any materials during normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use and damage.

Risks from battery materials are therefore largely limited to the professional workplace, hence the production or end-of-life treatment of a battery. Here, the industry already promotes high standards of worker and environmental protection such as the set-up of so-called dry or white rooms. Advanced battery manufacturing plants have the necessary equipment in place to control and collect gas emissions, recycle and reuse solvents as well as to filter dusts or other potential leakages to the highest applicable standards. The strict requirements for dry or white rooms have contributed to the achievement of environmental emissions control and, hence, clean manufacturing.