In almost every home, people use nine volt batteries to power smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about how those nine volt batteries could cause a fire if they are not stored and disposed of properly. We all use batteries to power toys, remotes, and a wide variety of household items, but we don’t give them much thought until they need to be replaced. One thing we don’t think about is the potential batteries have to cause a fire in your home or business.
According to LT. Jim Rhodes from the Aurora Fire Department as reported in the Beacon News, “All batteries have the potential of short circuiting and starting a fire.” However, a nine volt battery is more dangerous than any other battery. These batteries are more treacherous because the positive and negative posts are close together. This makes it much easier for a metal object, such as a paperclip or keys, to touch the two posts causing it to short circuit and produce enough heat to cause a fire.
Don’t think it is possible? It happened to David Miller of Colorado when his house mysteriously went up in flames. According to Inside Edition, Miller made a habit of tossing his old batteries into a paper bag for recycling later. One of the batteries came in contact with another and a couple hours later, he had a fire in his garage. Miller never thought in a million years that a battery used ironically to power a smoke detector could cause a fire in his home, but he isn’t the first to find this out the hard way.
So, how do you store and dispose of batteries safely? LT. Jim Rhodes recommends keeping batteries in the original packaging and not storing them near household items such as steel wool, aluminum foil, keys, other batteries, paper clips, and coins. He also suggests taking dead batteries to a collection site for household hazardous waste or electronic retail stores because even weak batteries have been known to cause a fire in the trash. Also, always make sure to cover the positive and negative posts with masking duct or electrical tape before getting rid of all batteries.
With everything we have to think about in our daily lives, most people wouldn’t give a second thought about where their batteries are stored, but it is worth it to take a look at where you keep your batteries because the danger is real. Nobody wants to deal with the devastation of a house fire so taking safety precautions with your batteries is an easy way to keep your home protected. If you would like to make sure your home is protected by your insurance policy, contact our experienced agents at Buttery-Wulff-Mamminga.