London Fire Brigade (LFB) have warned against the potential dangers of lithium ion batteries after a house fire in Orpington last weekend.

The fire broke out at a home on Rosecroft Close in Orpington around 5.15pm Saturday (October 23) when the brigade were called. 

LFB said that "most of the first floor and part of the external facia of the semi-detached house were damaged by the fire", with images showed the charred exterior of the property after the blaze.

Thankfully no-one was injured in the fire, which prompted a response from four fire engines and some 25 firefighters from Orpington and Sidcup. 

The cause of the fire is now under investigation by both LFB.

One suspected cause is a lithium ion battery according to the LFB Twitter account, which posted in an update on the fire:

"Lithium-ion batteries are found in devices, like laptops and phones. It's important to look after them - protect them from being damaged & don't overcharge them. A house fire in #Orpington #thisweek is believed to have involved a lithium-ion battery..."

The fire is one of a number in south London this year believed to be caused by rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

A house fire in Croydon is thought to have been caused by the rechargeable batteries, while another in Wimbledon was also linked to lithium ion battery inside an e-scooter.

Fire safety advice for rechargeable batteries has been distributed by LFB, reproduced below:

  • Always use the charger that came with your phone, tablet, e-cigarette or mobile 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.
  • Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete – it's best not to leave your phone plugged in overnight for example.
  • Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed.
  • When you travel, avoid keeping all your items containing lithium-ion batteries together, especially on a plane. Check with your flight carrier for additional information or advice.