Chief David E. Tobine and the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office encourage you to locate your extra batteries and learn how to store them properly.
In July, a fire broke out in a kitchen “junk” drawer which the resident stated she had just cleaned and organized. The fire produced smoke throughout the first floor of the home. In the drawer were spare keys, a cigarette lighter, paper clips, eye glass cleaner, and some batteries in a baggie along with everything else that you find in a “junk” drawer.
The local fire department determined the cause of the fire to be from a 9 volt battery stored in the same baggie with other batteries. The 9 volt battery rubbed against another battery and ignited the fire. In the homeowner’s words, “We were fortunate not have been away for the weekend!”
A 9 volt battery is a fire hazard because the positive and negative posts are on top, right next to one another. If the ends come in contact with anything metal i.e. aluminum foil, steel wool, paper clip, other batteries, etc. this will create the object to heat up and ignite a fire.
To store, keep in original packaging or keep ends covered. For disposal, make sure that the positive and negative posts are safely wrapped in electrical tape.
Remember to check your smoke alarms each month to ensure your family has the early warning to get out safely if a fire should occur in your home.