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9-Volt Battery Safety

9-volt batteries power our smoke alarms, household items and toys. They can be found in most homes.
But these batteries can be a fire hazard if not stored safely or disposed of with care.

The Problem

  • 9-volt batteries can be dangerous. The positive negatives 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.
  • It is unsafe to store 9-volt batteries in a drawer near paper clips, coins, pens, or other batteries. Do not store common household items such as steel wool, aluminum foil, and keys near 9-volt batteries. If these items touch the two posts, there is greater risk of a fire starting.
  • Weak batteries may not have enough charge to cause a fire. Some fires have started in trash when 9-volt batteries were thrown away with other metal items.

Storing 9-volt batteries

  • 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 someplace safe where they won’t be tossed around.
  • Store batteries standing up.
  • 9-volt batteries should not be stored loose in drawer. Do not store them in containers with other batteries.

Disposal

  • 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.
  • To be safe, 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 get rid of batteries.

This fire safety tip is provided by the National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org/education