NORTH Somerset Council has partnered up with Avon Fire and Rescue Service on a campaign to help prevent fires caused by the incorrect disposal of batteries.

Over the past year, this has caused three fires in the region. Two of these fires started in the back of waste collection vehicles and one at a recycling centre.

From February 5, 102,000 properties across North Somerset will receive a hanger for their black general waste bin, which will detail how to dispose of batteries, vapes and gas canisters properly.

Advice will also be given on how to prevent fires in the home.

Lithium-ion batteries, which can be found in phones, laptops and vapes, can explode and start fires when damaged or crushed, such as when in the back of a bin lorry.

Gas canisters and larger battery packs should be disposed of at your local recycling centre.

If you are trying to get rid of electrical items in kerbside recycling boxes, you should first remove the batteries and put them in a clear plastic bag on top of your recycling box. 

Councillor Annemieke Waite, executive member for climate, waste and sustainability, said: “This is a deeply important campaign that should help keep our waste collection crews and our residents safe. 

“Especially with items like vapes continuing to be popular, it’s crucial that we dispose of batteries in a safe and proper way. Recycling these items helps us look after our community and secure a greener future for North Somerset.” 

Avon Fire and Rescue Service's Home Fire Safety Checker is a crucial tool to help keep your home and your loved ones safe. You can access the checker on the service's website.

Russ Mitchell, group manager at Avon Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with North Somerset Council for this campaign, as waste fires caused by batteries have been a cause for concern across the area.

"Not only can these fires be particularly dangerous to victims and firefighters, but they also cause significant damage to properties.”

“Properly disposing of batteries is an important way that residents can help reduce the risk of fires starting."