Did you know that batteries have been responsible for a number of devastating house fires? Do you have a process for safe battery storage in your house?
Here are a few things you should consider for the safety of your home and family, plus it may save you a little money too.
First and foremost, batteries should never be stored in a metal container or near metal objects (even if you think the batteries have no charge). Batteries, of all types, tend to short circuit when they come in contact with metal objects, so storing them in the garage in an old paint can or other metal container is never a good idea and can lead to a fire. Do you keep new or old batteries laying around the house or garage in a junk drawer or container? What other kinds of objects are in there that may serve as a conductor? Paper clips? Coins? Keys?
Batteries should be kept in mild temperatures. Garage temperatures will greatly fluctuate with the change of seasons. This can cause the batteries to lose their charge, condensation, and corrosion. Perhaps you’ve heard that storing batteries in the freezer prolongs the life and charge in the battery, unfortunately it is not accurate as it is too cold.
Even very little moisture can lead to corrosion. It is important to avoid areas near moisture or with high humidity.
Regular household batteries that were made following 1996 can be thrown in the trash. However, there are many chemicals in batteries that once they are in the landfill and become corrosive the chemicals can leach into land and further into water supplies. The best disposal option is to find a local source that will properly dispose of household batteries. Caution should be given to ensure that batteries are thrown away in a way that they will not come in contact with metal in the garbage as they could start a fire. Other batteries such as automobile batteries can usually be recycled at an auto parts store or service center.
The best way to store batteries is in the original packaging inside of the home. This helps avoid the mixing of different types of batteries, exposure to moisture, and fluctuation temperatures. And, if you can save old batteries for a community clean-up day where they collect other chemicals, such as paint, this is the best method of disposal.