U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standard activities related to batteries in consumer products, including:
- ANSI/CAN/UL 2272 - Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices
- ANSI/NEMA C18 - Safety Standards for Primary, Secondary and Lithium Batteries
- ASTM F2951 - Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Baby Monitors
- ASTM F963 - Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety
- IEEE 1625 - Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Multi-Cell Computing
- IEEE 1725 - Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Telephones
- UL 1642 - Standard for Safety for Lithium Batteries
- UL 2054 - Standard for Household and Commercial Batteries
- UL 2056 - Outline of Investigation for Safety of Power Banks
- UL 2595 – Standard for Safety for General Requirements for Battery-Powered Appliances
- UL 4200A - Standard for Safety for Products that Incorporate Button or Coin Cell Batteries Using Lithium Technologies
- UL 60065 - Standard for Audio, Video, and Similar Electronic Apparatus–Safety Requirements
CPSC staff has received consumer complaints and manufacturer and retailer reports involving hazards associated with batteries and battery chargers. Potential hazards include overheating, fire, electrical shock from battery chargers, thermal burns, exposure to alkaline battery electrolytes, and high-velocity ejected internal components of batteries. Reports indicate incidents have occurred while the product is in use, in storage, and during battery charging. There have been a number of recalls involving lithium-ion batteries/battery packs/battery chargers used in cellular telephones, portable computing products, personal electronic products, and electric scooters (hoverboards). There have also been a number of recalls involving other types of batteries used in products such as battery-powered ride-on toys and portable battery-powered tools.
The use of batteries in consumer products continues to grow exponentially. With the proliferation of batteries and the miniaturization of portable products, manufacturers have sought to increase battery operating times while reducing size and weight of the battery and the battery-powered product. This has led to battery chemistries that pack higher energy in smaller packages. High-energy chemistry batteries include lithium ion, lithium ion polymer, and lithium metal batteries that are thinner, smaller, and lighter weight and contain more energy than traditional rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. Although conventional battery chemistries, such as lead acid, pose fire and explosion hazards, the combination of high-energy volatile chemistry packed into a small volume requires special safeguards to minimize potential hazards. High-energy density batteries need enhanced safety systems and additional care when using and handling, both in or when removed from the product; and batteries must be properly tested with the product, in its intended use and with the charger as a system.
CPSC staff recommends:
- Components and battery-powered products comply with applicable voluntary standards;
- New components and products that are not yet subject to voluntary standards be designed considering the best practices from similar voluntary standards;
- Battery-powered products be designed with a system approach addressing thermal protection, charge and discharge protection , and use in product, including:
- Cells suitable for intended loads and conditions and manufactured with good quality control
- Battery packs with proper Battery Management Systems, including charge control, short-circuit protection and cell balancing
- Chargers that comply with applicable voluntary standards and are suitable for product
- End-product systems (including cells, batteries, chargers, and product) are tested together for safe function and appropriate conditions.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 Operating Plans, the Commission directed staff to perform additional work to address the emerging and ongoing hazards associated with high-energy density batteries. The project is intended to review enforcement, voluntary and mandatory standards, import surveillance and compliance, and industry, interagency, and intergovernmental activities to mitigate the hazards.
- Fidget Spinners Safety | CPSC.gov
- Hoverboards | CPSC.gov
- CPSC Releases Tips on Notebook Computer Use
- Cell Phone Batteries: CPSC, CTIA Working Together to Keep Consumers Safe
Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:
- Correspondence to UL STP 2272, December 20, 2016, CPSC staff comment on Proposed Effective Date for UL 2272
- Correspondence to UL STP 2272, June 13, 2016, CPSC staff recommendations for UL 2272.
- Correspondence to UL STP 4200A, November 18, 2014, CPSC staff comments on UL 4200A.
- Correspondence to UL STP 4200A, June 9, 2014, CPSC staff comments UL 4200A.
- Correspondence to UL STP 60065, January 18, 2013, CPSC staff comment on UL 60065.
- Correspondence to UL STP 4200A, July 20, 2012, CPSC staff comments UL 4200A.
- Correspondence to UL STP 60065, June 8, 2012, CPSC staff comment on Future Effective Date, Annex I, UL 60065.
- Correspondence to UL STP 60065, July 29, 2011, CPSC staff comment on UL 60065
- Correspondence to ASTM F15.22 and ASTM 963, February 25, 2008, Rechargeable batteries and toys.
- Correspondence to UL, February 25, 2003, CPSC staff recommendations for batteries for use in smoke alarms.
- Correspondence to UL, September 6, 2002, CPSC staff recommendations for batteries for use in smoke alarms.
- CPSC staff comments to UL/ANSI Ballot, July 28, 1999, CPSC staff comments on UL 1989, Standby Batteries.
- Correspondence to Chairman, ASTM F15.22, July 12, 1999, CPSC staff comments on F963 Toy Safety regarding battery-operated ride-on toys.
- Correspondence from Chairman, ASTM F15.22, July 9, 1999, Response to staff letter of May 20, 1999.
- Correspondence to Chairman, ASTM F15.22, May 20, 1999, CPSC staff comments on F963 Toy Safety regarding battery-operated ride-on toys.
CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:
- Updated Status Report on High Energy Density Batteries Project, March 31, 2020
- Status Report on High Energy Density Batteries Project, February 12, 2018.
- Final Report on Lithium Batteries Used in Residential Smoke Alarms, December 2, 2002.
- Preliminary Test Results on Lithium Batteries Used in Residential Smoke Alarms, June 28, 2002.
Contact ANSI, ASTM, IEEE, or UL:
- For further information concerning ANSI C18 battery standards contact Khaled Masri at NEMA
- For further information concerning ASTM voluntary standards contact Len Morrissey at LMorrissey@astm.org or ASTM International at http://www.astm.org
- For further information concerning IEEE 1725 (1625), Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Telephones (Multi-Cell Computing) please contact IEEE-SA Liaison
- For further information concerning UL battery safety standards contact UL at firstname.lastname@example.org