Recently a video has been spreading like fire around social media, a video on how 9-volt batteries can actually cause a house fire. Some may think this is a myth, but Dustin Lucius, fire prevention officer at the Fenton Fire Department, said that all household batteries pose a fire threat to our homes. One Fenton family learned the hard way and there is a permanent display at the fire station showing the dangers of improper battery storage.
Nine-volt batteries are common in every household. Lucius said, “Fires started by household batteries are more common than you’d think.” They power toys and many other battery operated devices. Ironically enough, one of the most common items in the home that uses a 9-volt battery is your smoke detector.
The main reason that 9-volt batteries are the most dangerous household battery is that the positive and negative posts are close together. If a metal object touches the two posts of a 9-volt battery, it can cause a short circuit. This can make enough heat to start a fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Even weak batteries may have enough charge to cause a fire.
Lucius warned about proper storage and disposal of batteries, including the 9-volt. Fires can start in the trash when 9-volt batteries are thrown away with other metal items. They can also start when 9-volt batteries are stored in a drawer near other batteries and metal office supplies, like paperclips. Any metal made item that touches both posts on the 9-volt can potentially start a fire.
Your best bet when it comes to proper storage of your household batteries is to keep them in their original packaging until you are ready to use them. When it’s time to throw them out, do not put them in the trash where they can come into contact with other metal items. Instead, take them in on hazardous waste day, or contact your local trash and recycling centers to find out where they can be taken for proper disposal.
• Keep batteries in original packaging until you are ready to use them. If loose, keep the posts covered with masking, duct, or electrical tape. Prevent the posts from coming in contact with metal objects.
• Keep them somewhere safe where they won’t be tossed around.
• Store batteries standing up.
• 9-volt batteries should not be stored loose in a drawer.
• Do not store them in containers with other batteries.
• 9-volt batteries should not be thrown away with trash. They can come in contact with other batteries or pieces of metal.
• 9-volt batteries can be taken to a collection site for household hazardous waste.
• Cover the positive and negative posts with masking, duct, or electrical tape before getting rid of batteries.
• Some states do not allow any type of battery to be disposed of with trash. Check with your city or town for the best way to