NJ House Caught Fire — 9 Volt Batteries to Blame
MOUNT OLIVE — Storing 9-volt batteries together could start a fire.
Many kitchens have a "junk drawer" where everything gets tossed, including batteries, paperclips, coins, and other items, without a second thought.
Mt. Olive Fire Marshal Colin Baker issued a warning to keep batteries away from each other after an Aug. 2 fire was determined to have started because of the posts on the batteries coming in contact with each other. Baker told NJ.com that the homeowner had several batteries stored under the sink.
"There was minimal damage minus the actual batteries. If the homeowners were not home, this incident could have been much worse," Baker wrote in his warning.
Eddie Donnelly, president Firemans Mutual Benevolent Association, said it's also a problem when batteries are not disposed of properly. He said he has witnessed a burn when batteries overheated and exploded.
Baker shared information from the National Fire Protection Association that recommends keeping the batteries in their packaging until they're needed, or to keep the posts wrapped in masking tape.
Other recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association about 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
- Store batteries standing up.
- 9-volt batteries should not be stored loose in a drawer.
- Do not store them in containers with other batteries.
- 9-volt batteries should not be thrown away with trash.
- They can come in contact with other batteries or pieces
- 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.