Fidget Fires

Despite the countless incidents we hear about involving lithium batteries, yet another popular commodity is showing up in the news for exploding and catching fire. Fidget spinners have been the latest craze among kids, teens and even some adults. For those who are not caught up in the fidget frenzy, a fidget spinner is a “stress-relieving” toy consisting of a bearing in the center of a flat plastic or metal or metal structure, with three lobed protrusions that spin on the axis with very little effort. They began from an extremely simplistic design and concept, with their effortless spinning promoted as an aid to relieving nervous energy.

They quickly became popular with schoolchildren as a ‘must-have’ toy, and with their rapid gain in popularity among children and adults, select manufacturers have begun to offer fidget spinners containing – of course! – Bluetooth speakers. As savvy users of countless electronic devices, we know very well that where there is a Bluetooth speaker, somewhere in the configuration there exists a lithium battery to power it. And sure enough, recently several news reports have emerged of these lithium-battery powered fidget spinners with speakers catching fire while being plugged in for charging.

While it would be difficult these days for any of us to imagine life without lithium batteries, these incidents remind us that all battery-operated devices require precautions when using – especially around children! Among these precautions: purchase from reputable retailers that you know and trust, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and charging, always use the charger that is designed specifically for the device, and don’t leave devices charging while unattended – particularly overnight. Have fun but stay safe!

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