Frequently Asked Questions

A lithium-ion battery is an electrical storage in which the charge is based on the movement of lithium ions between the anode and the cathode. Batteries are lightweight and have a large capacity. However, they can catch fire under certain circumstances.

How can I identify different types of lithium-ion batteries by their labels and markings? Lithium-ion batteries themselves often say “Li-ion”. The package may read UN3480 (lithium-ion batteries loose) or UN 3481 (lithium-ion batteries attached to the device). The package may also bear a “no air cargo” symbol or similar mark referring to lithium-ion batteries.

New batteries are quite safe. However, batteries should not be bumped, short-circuited or dropped from a height.

A damaged battery may have cracks, dents or burn marks. If the battery gets hot, hisses or smokes, be aware that it can catch fire quickly.

Check the battery and ask the customer about the battery’s usage history. Tape the poles and take the appliance or battery to a designated area in the workplace. If the battery is damaged, take the battery to an agreed safe place and leave it there for at least 24 hours. Then handle the battery with care. 

Large batteries that cannot be carried by hand should not be accepted. Otherwise, check the battery and ask the customer about the battery’s usage history. Tape the poles and take the battery to the recycling area. If the battery is damaged, take the battery to an agreed safe place and leave it there for at least 24 hours. Then handle the battery with care.

Carefully follow the instructions given by your employer, the shipping company or the recipient for packing the appliance or lithium-ion batteries and marking the battery on the packaging. Under no circumstances should batteries be shipped without being properly labelled.

Even if a battery fire can be extinguished, the same battery may re-ignite. A battery fire will show flames that can be long and intense. The battery can also become pressurised and explode. A battery fire produces toxic fumes and pieces of the burning battery may fly off. 

A small battery fire: cover the battery with a fire blanket; if there are steel containers, place the covered battery in one and close the lid. Sound the fire alarm.

Large battery on fire: cover battery with fire blanket, close doors and windows, exit premises, sound fire alarm and follow fire instructions. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself.



Lithium-ion batteries themselves often say “Li-ion”. The package may read UN3480 (lithium-ion batteries in the loose) or UN 3481 (lithium-ion batteries attached to the appliance). The package may also bear a “no fly cargo” symbol or similar mark referring to lithium-ion batteries.

A zombie battery is a discarded battery that, when damaged, comes back to life and can explode and catch fire. The battery can be damaged by falling from a height or being mixed with the wrong waste, for example. Fires caused by zombie batteries can become large because they are often surrounded by large amounts of combustible material and are difficult to extinguish in waste treatment processes. Read more: zombiakku.fi