LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM)- Lithium fires can happen in your home if you are not careful. They have been increasing over the last few years.

“They do present a special danger if not handled properly, both from the terms of storage, use and disposal,” said Lancaster County Commissioner Ray D’Agostino.

On Friday first responders learned the ins and outs of lithium and how to attack lithium-based fires. It’s a product that is found in everyday items such as your cell phone.

“We certainly want to be better prepared with our response and have the knowledge to know how to handle those incidents,” said Michael Lyons of the Lancaster Hazmat team.

But how are lithium fires unique from others?

“What makes them different is the acceleration in which they decompose and ignite,” said Lyons. “It’s a very rapid-fire situation.”

More and more of these fires are taking place because of improper disposal. It is free to dispose of your lithium batteries at local recycling drop-offs, and if a lithium fire does start, Lyons says they can’t be put out with one common extinguisher.

“One thing we have found is adding water doesn’t really suppress the fire,” said Lyons.

It can make the fire worse due to its oxygen molecules which fuel the fire. Training is necessary for emergency workers of all skill sets.

“These are volunteers at the local fire department level. Our EMTs, our EMAs are mostly volunteer,” said D’Agostino.