I have already pointed out about Laptop Battery Safety tips. Calvin Chu has posted some good basic information about how notebook batteries work and why they explode.
He explains how laptop or notebook battery works and what makes them to explode. From the article:
It’s fair to say each of us has an inner geek that thinks differently, so I’m going to try to explain batteries a couple of different ways. Basically, I’ll explain how batteries work from a high level, then, I’ll dissect my notebook batteries and show you how they tick. Along the way, I’ll go over care of batteries, and safety and longevity considerations.