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SureFire Says
Substandard Batteries Linked to Explosions


SureFire, LLC Press Release

FlashlightNews.org - 4/03/2008

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SureFire 123A Batteries

SureFire 123A Batteries

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Ca. - SureFire, LLC, designer and manufacturer of high-end flashlights, cautions against the purchase and use of substandard quality lithium batteries with SureFire or any other applicable products.

There have been several reports of lithium 123A batteries exploding, venting, or catching fire in various brands of flashlights. These incidents have been traced back to the use of substandard quality, imported, and/or counterfeit batteries typically made in China (or marked "PRC") usually purchased from an online reseller. These batteries are not manufactured to the same quality standards as SureFire brand batteries and do not have the engineered safety features that are vital to averting these types of dangerous events. Not all cases of exploding batteries have been the lithium type, but this warning should be viewed by all users of battery-powered devices.

On March 1, 2008 imported substandard quality lithium batteries combusted inside of a flashlight that was attached to the duty belt of a police officer. Due to the officer's quick actions, he avoided injury and only sustained damage to his uniform. Imported substandard quality batteries caused the explosion, not the flashlight. These substandard quality batteries were purchased from an unknown online source and were not made in the U.S.A. like SureFire brand batteries. SureFire recommends that consumers avoid purchasing and using foreign-made lithium 123A batteries, especially batteries marked "PRC" or "Made in China".

SureFire's Vice President of Marketing, Derek McDonald said, "SureFire has been manufacturing lithium battery-powered flashlights for nearly 25 years; in that time not a single incident has been reported of a SureFire 123A lithium battery causing any such mishap in a SureFire brand flashlight." He continued, "SureFire brand batteries are made in the U.S.A. and come with built in safety features, which prevent combustion. SureFire only approves the use of SureFire Brand batteries in its products, but does believe Panasonic or Duracell 123A lithium batteries to be of an acceptable quality, and in all cases strongly warns against the use of non-U.S.A. made brands, mixing old and new batteries, and mixing different brands of batteries."

Warnings have been posted in SureFire product manuals and on www.surefire.com to ensure the safety of SureFire flashlight users. SureFire warns anyone who may have been misinformed about the quality of certain batteries to purchase only U.S.A. made batteries or they risk injury and damage to property. SureFire lithium 123A batteries can be purchased in bulk for as low as $1.75 each.

If you would like more information about battery warnings or overheating batteries please visit the Depart of Energy website: www.hss.energy.gov/csa/csp/feosh.

BATTERY WARNINGS (located at SureFire.com)

WARNING: Lithium batteries can explode or cause burns if disassembled, shorted, recharged, exposed to water, fire, or high temperatures. Do not place loose batteries in a pocket, purse, or other container containing metal objects, mix with used or other battery types, or store with hazardous or combustible materials. Store in cool, dry, ventilated area. Follow applicable laws and regulations for transport and disposal.

INFERIOR QUALITY IMPORTED BATTERIES and COUNTERFEIT BATTERY WARNING: There have been several incidences reported of counterfeit and/or low-quality batteries spontaneously combusting or venting, which have resulted in damage to the flashlight and in some cases property damage or personal injury. For this reason SureFire strongly recommends that you use only SureFire-brand lithium batteries (or batteries manufactured by well-known manufacturers such as Panasonic or Duracell) to guarantee safe performance. SureFire's lithium batteries are manufactured to strict quality control standards specifically for use in high-performance, high-drain devices, and contain builtin fault/heat protection. The use of lesser-known or counterfeit brands could damage your SureFire product and may constitute a safety hazard.

To ensure that you get authentic, competitively priced safety designed SureFire batteries, purchase them only from SureFire.com or an authorized SureFire reseller. Use of other (non-SureFire) brands of batteries may void your warranty. Customers are specifically cautioned not to purchase batteries from online auction websites, or unauthorized SureFire sites as these are known sources of counterfeit, and/or substandard quality batteries.

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