Lithium batteries have become the leading power source for cell phones and other mobile devices because of their ability recharge and carry nearly double the voltage that traditional batteries such as alkaline or zinc-carbon batteries do. They do possess hazards when not properly used or disposed of.
Fire and explosion is a serious risk when lithium batteries overheat. This is especially problematic when transporting entire shipments of batteries.
Those batteries found on mobile devices such as laptops or cell phones can run extremely hot and burn skin on contact.
Because of their small size with high voltage capacity, lithium batteries can discharge extremely high currents if they short circuit. The result is a shock that can be as effective as a stun gun.
When these batteries are charged too fast or overcharged, they pose greater risks. This accelerates possible failure in the anodes within the cells, or the charger could combust.
At the core of the lithium battery is its chemical composition that induces high current charges. If for any reason the casing is breached, a chemical burn is highly likely.
Lithium batteries (like all batteries) should not be stoed long term in the equipment you use, as a chemical reaction will destroy the equipment.
The Army store Lithium (Radio) batteries in an air tight vault. Lithium gasses are fatal - where the casing has failed; and finally, Lithium battaries can no longer be sent via Aust Post.