Mobile phone users now face a new danger … expanding mobile phone batteries which can cause your phone to catch fire or even explode.

The fire service in Ireland is so concerned about the problem it has taken to social media to warn others.

Many people are aware of the dangers involved in charging phones on beds or chairs but an issue many are not aware of is the potential danger of expanding phone batteries.


The team at Dublin Fire wrote on Twitter: "A phone's battery on occasion can expand when a fault occurs or after a period of no use. If your phone starts to bulge: repair or replace."


According to internet tech website Wireless Rev: “If at any point, you realise that your battery has swollen you need to get rid of it immediately. Your swollen battery can leak and damage your phone or it can even explode and start a fire. Don’t take the chance.


And it reveals three reasons why your battery may swell up.


Overcharging:  This usually isn’t an issue when you use the charger that came with your phone. However, there are times when that charger can malfunction and cause your battery to be overcharged. Your phone should not be left on the charger for very long after the battery has been fully charged. Lithium Ion batteries don’t react well to overcharging at all.


Heat: Extremely high temperatures in the battery as a result of charging or rapid discharging from using the device could have an effect on the chemistry of the battery. This negative chemical effect could cause your battery to get swollen.


Faulty manufacturing: Poorly-made batteries can swell.


Mobile phones catching fire have been a particular problem on airplanes.


Special fire-retardant bags called AvSax specifically designed to deal with fires in electronic devices are now on board several major US carriers.

The AvSax is used when lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones or other electronic devices catch fire.

Simply pour at least two litres of water into an AvSax and then drop the burning device into the bag. The water activates the polymer gel inside the bag causing it to expand around the device. Should the device keep on venting then the AvSax is tough enough to absorb the force.

In short, the AvSax cools the batteries in the device, reducing the likelihood of the battery catching fire but if it does go into what is known as thermal runaway it is all contained within the bag.