How do you store batteries safely?
Billions of people around the world use batteries for many different reasons. You’ll find them lurking in your phone, camera and everyday gadgets and if not stored correctly can cause problems to yourself and the environment. Every battery contains toxic and corrosive materials, so it is vital for them to be looked after properly. Hazardous chemicals like cadmium, lithium, lead and mercury are the most common and pose a serious threat to life if ingested. Here are a few top tips to safely store your batteries.
Keep them in a box
Incorrect storage is the number one cause of all battery-related incidents. Secure your batteries in a box made of any material apart from metal. Metal affects the battery causing it to the short circuit so it is best to place them in a plastic, cardboard or glass container. At Fogstar, we offer a variety of cases to store your batteries; you can find a selection of them here. To make your batteries last longer, line them up with the positive end facing the same direction; the battery will short circuit if the + and - touch without an electric charge flowing through.
Store at room temperature
The ideal temperature for a battery is a cool, dry environment and they should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating. Batteries left exposed to metal items such as keys and coins can easily short - causing them to explode or burn. You’ll notice when this starts to happen as the materials inside start to break down and produce bubbles.
Store full batteries and dead batteries separately
Older batteries drain the energy from newer ones so it's best to store like-for-like batteries together. Make sure you keep track of your battery’s life. Mixing different charge levels can also cause one to react and short circuit. They work best if they’re the same age, so always label any opened packets with the date they were first used.
Keep batteries out of reach of children
If a battery is swallowed, it can get lodged in the throat. Any moisture causes the battery to break down and release toxic chemicals that can burn the throat and further into the digestive system, causing internal bleeding. Keeping them safe, especially from children is paramount in avoiding major accidents. Always store them in a secure box out of reach of inquisitive hands. Button batteries are the main culprits as they can easily be found by babies and small children.
Dispose of any used batteries safely
Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is regulated to reduce the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) incinerated or sent to landfill sites. Therefore batteries need to be disposed of correctly to avoid environmental hazards. Our blog on the safe processes of recycling your WEEE products goes into more information on the best ways to recycle your batteries.
If you have any questions, our specialist team at Fogstar are always on-hand to help with any queries you might have - don’t hesitate to get in touch!