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Batteries are common in most, if not all, homes because they are a source of power for many of the technologies that help us perform our daily tasks and responsibilities. No matter how old or new, all batteries have the potential to short circuit and start a fire. Loosely stored and improperly disposed batteries, especially the 9-volt rectangular-shaped batteries used in commercial and residential fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, can easily lead to an accidental fire. While it is a great idea to keep your detectors powered with a fresh set of batteries every 4 months, how we store and dispose of them is as crucial for fire safety.

Never store batteries in a “junk” drawer. These drawers usually contain conductors such as metal pens and paper clips that can touch both the positive and negative posts of batteries simultaneously. This could lead to a spark and turn quickly into a fire. For storing new batteries, keep them in their original packaging as much as possible and tucked away from other metal items. After replacing batteries, electrical tape can be used to cover each post to prevent a short circuit. When disposing, batteries can be placed in a Ziploc bag and turned in to the nearest battery disposal/collection sites.

There are several other steps that homeowners can take to decrease the risk of fires within their properties. By following the “Top 11 Things Homeowners Can Do To Fireproof Their Homes”, a homeowner can also significantly reduce the damages caused by fires and can provide all who live within the house a level of comfort knowing that these fire safety precautions have been implemented.