As the winter weather really settles in, many homeowners and business owners find themselves stocking up on essentials just in case Mother Nature decides to wallop the northeast with a monster snowstorm, windstorm, or even sheets of ice. These events can mean days without power and can lead to treacherous driving conditions. One fundamental item that most of us know to stock up on is batteries to run our flashlights, portable radios and, if need be, temporary heaters. However, how many of us understand the importance of battery safety. One particular battery that can lead to accidental fires is the 9 Volt battery. Let’s take a closer look at this type of battery and some tips to use them safely.
9-volt batteries power many common items in our homes and businesses such as our smoke alarms, household items, and toys. Unfortunately, these batteries can be a fire hazard if not stored safely, used by the expiration date, or disposed of with care.
- Storage Safety – Since 9 Volt batteries pose a hazard if the positive and negative posts are close together, or if metal items stored near the batteries touch the posts, the spark can cause a slow, smoldering fire. Therefore, Wayne Alarm suggests keeping all batteries in their original packaging until you are ready to use them. If they are loose, keeping the posts covered with masking, duct, or electrical tape is a good method to keep the posts safe. This can prevent the posts from coming in contact with metal objects such as paper clips, coins, pens, and other batteries.
- Expiration Dates – Batteries are not usually something we worry about until we need them, such as in the case of an emergency like a winter storm knocking out power. Be sure to check batteries and the expiration dates. Batteries that have reached their age limit can corrode and the chemicals inside can begin to leak. Check the packaging before you touch or use batteries to be sure they have not yet expired.
- Disposal Safety – 9-volt batteries should not be thrown away with the trash. Again, as with storage issues, they can come in contact with other batteries or pieces of metal in the trash and cause a fire. To be safe, cover the positive and negative posts with masking, duct, or electrical tape before getting rid of batteries. Check with your town before disposing them as your area may have special arrangements for proper disposal.
Wayne Alarm wants you and your property to be safe from accidents, thefts and, of course, fires. Check out our website for more useful tips on safety or continue to check back with our weekly blogs on safety issues.