Guest Post from one of our biggest AGG fans…
I am sure some of you are like me and have used DeWALT / Black & Decker cordless power tools over the last couple of decades.
Well, last night I almost had a garage fire. Caused by a battery charger malfunction that I caught right as the battery started melting. Look at all the nice flammable stuff above it. Wow.
I had put battery in charger around 8:00pm and closed up for the night. Around 9:30, My wife was still with kids so I decided to straighten up and took some trash out to the garage. The second I opened the garage door (door is exterior insulated)…the garage smelled like burnt hair. I ran over to battery and it was starting to melt. Probably 5 min before flames…which would have ignited a powder keg on shelf above. Game over after that. Probably the worst possible location in the entire home for flames.
- No smoke detector in garage
- Cursory check found no smoke detector in my unfinished basement workshop either
- Sealed exterior door to garage would have kept smoke out of house until too late
- Battery charger placed under highly flammable liquids…unbelievable bad idea in retrospect
The kid’s playroom and my 5 year old daughter’s bedroom (where she was sleeping at the time) is located directly over the garage. The first we would have known about this issue would have been smoke or flames in my daughter’s area of the house.
I have had 5-6 of these 18v batteries over the years and have left them sitting on chargers all the time.
A quick google search found this:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), DEWALT Industrial Tool Co., of Baltimore, Md., is voluntarily recalling about 1.7 million battery chargers used with cordless power tools. The battery chargers include two models of DEWALT (DW9107, DW9108) and two models of Black & Decker Industry & Construction™ (97015, 97016) brands. The battery charger can fail to automatically shut off after the battery is fully charged, which can cause the battery to burst, and poses fire, burn and electrical shock hazards to consumers.
DEWALT has received two reports of batteries bursting and consumers suffering injuries, including minor lacerations and a minor burn.
The DEWALT battery chargers have model numbers DW9107 and DW9108, which is written on the front of the charger. The recalled DEWALT chargers have date codes from 9616 through 9752 located on the bottom of the charger. The DEWALT chargers are black with yellow lettering. “DEWALT” is written on the front of the chargers.
The Black & Decker Industry & Construction battery chargers have model numbers 97015 and 97016. The model number is written on the front of the chargers. They have date codes from 9616 through 9752, which is located on the bottom of the chargers. The Black & Decker Industry & Construction chargers are black. “Black & Decker Industry and Construction” is written on the front of these chargers.
Home center and hardware stores sold these battery chargers nationwide from May 1996 through August 2000 for between $50 and $ 60. During the same time, these chargers also were sold with some DEWALT® and Black & Decker Industry & Construction cordless tools.
Yep DW9108…and within this recall date range…unbelievable.
So, my 20 year old battery charger has worked for two decades, but decided to malfunction last night and was about to cause a fairly new battery to burst into flames.