How many of us have a junk drawer that we toss our extra batteries in? How many of us leave our laptops or chargers for our camera batteries plugged in all day when it is fully charged? Chances are most of us do throw extra batteries in a drawer, toss old batteries in the trash, and leave rechargeable items such as laptops plugged in after they have fully charged. My hopes is that after reading this blog, all of us are a little more careful and understand the dangers of battery fires.
Let’s take a look at regular batteries first. According to NFPA, 9-volt batteries are a fire hazard if not stored or disposed of safely. Because the positive and negative posts are located, so closely together, they can short circuit and cause a fire if both poss come in contact with metal objects. Think about all the keys and paper clips also located in that junk drawer, or the thrown out aluminum foil in the trash, even weak 9-volt batteries are strong enough to start a fire.
Lithium Ion batteries are also making a name for themselves. They are compact, lightweight batteries that hold a considerable charge and are found in laptops, cameras and cell phones. However, the lithium ion fluid is flammable and has been responsible for many fire losses. Damage to the batter itself can cause a short which can ignite the lithium. These batteries are also capable of exploding if they become too hot.
So what is the proper way to handle batteries. 9-volts should be kept in the original packaging when possible. If they are kept loose, cover the posts with masking, duct or electrical tape. When possible, store these batteries standing up and do not store them in containers with other batteries. It is always best to dispose of 9-volt batteries in a household hazardous waste site. To keep the risk of lithium ion batteries exploding to a minimum, try to keep lithium items separated, avoid storing them at higher temperatures, and do not over charge them.
The number of fire restoration jobs PHC has worked on has grown in recent years. Remember PHC Restoration is available 24 hours a day to respond to your fire damage emergency.