Expert Electrical

Battery Safety Tips

Mar 30, 2016 | Electrical Safety

Most of us have batteries stored in a drawer or cabinet somewhere in our home. They are used for a number of different applications including clocks, remote controls, and toys. Batteries do create electrical current, so while these small devices can appear harmless, improper use can lead to dangerous results. Make sure you are conducting battery use in a safe and proper manner.

Ensure batteries and contacts are clean – Before using a battery, make sure that the battery is clean and the connections of the device are also clean. Any dirt or grease can cause the battery to not connect properly to the device or allow a path for the current to leave the device. If corrosion appears to be building on either the battery or the device it should be cleaned or disposed of properly. You can use a cloth to wipe away any debris or build up on the battery and device connector. 

Dispose of batteries correctly – Batteries are filled with hazardous acid. Once a battery is used up it does not mean that it is safe to throw into the garbage can. Batteries can still leak and cause hazardous chemicals to spread. Batteries should be recycled at locations that accept them, such as Staples and Best Buy. They will ensure that batteries are sent to the right place for recycling. 

Avoid damaging or using damaged batteries – Again, batteries do contain hazardous chemicals inside. It the battery is punctured, crushed, or heated the acid can leak or explode. If this acid comes into contact with your skin or eyes, it can pose serious health risks. Keep children from handling batteries in the event that they misuse the battery. If you find a damaged battery, avoid using it in any household device. Wrap the battery up and bring it to a recycling station. 

Match the polarity correctly – While many of us check to make sure that the positive (+) and negative (-) symbols are connecting correctly in the device, it can be overlooked at times. If you put a battery backwards in a device it may still function but there could be venting or leaking. The polarity indicators are there to let you know how the battery should be used. Ignoring these prompts can lead to damaging the battery and the serious hazards discussed earlier.

Batteries are a wonderful invention that allows us to generate small amounts of electricity for mobile devices, but mishandling them can be dangerous for our health. If you have questions about electrical devices or use in your home, contact your local Expert Electric to get the assistance of a licenced electrician.