Fairfield fire department promoting lithium-ion battery safety

The Fairfield Fire Department is encouraging people ahead of the holidays to be safe when using lithium-ion batteries.
The department hosted a news conference Wednesday with the Connecticut Career Fire Chief Association and Underwriters Laboratories to promote the Take Charge of Battery Safety program.
Its goal is to inform people how to properly charge and maintain the batteries, along with how to correctly dispose of them.
While the batteries themselves are safe, they can become hazardous once wet or damaged.
Officials say people need to be concerned if they swell or begin to smell weird.
Firefighters say once the batteries catch fire, it can be hard to extinguish them.
"The average person is not going to put out a lithium-ion battery fire. And once it starts, it's going to spread very rapidly. It's going to expand with a lot of energy and it's going to be very scary to someone who sees it. And that's why it's important to get out right away, call 911 and early detection. And even when we show up, depending on the size of lithium-ion battery fire, it's very difficult for us to put out," says Lt. Bob Smith.
Firefighters say they have not responded to a lithium-ion battery in town, but that they are prepared to do so if needed.