Could This Common Household Item Cause a Fire in Your House?

A house fire doesn’t always begin from candles or cigarettes left unattended. A common household item can be the culprit behind house fires. In fact, most people remain unaware of its dangers.

What item are we talking about? Batteries. That’s right. Batteries are quite often the cause of household fires. People store their batteries and forget about them. Batteries that are not stored the right way can become fire hazards.

Leaving batteries around the house might not seem like a big deal. “Batteries are so small, so they could never cause much damage,” people think. Most people believe that batteries are not dangerous at all. But remember that they create electrical charges. Power runs through them and can cause fires under the correct conditions.

Preventing Fires

When we understand that batteries can cause fires, we can take steps to prevent these fires.

Never store them in drawers with metal or flammable materials. Unpackaged batteries can become “activated” when exposed to metal. Then that electrical circuit can start a fire with nearby flammable materials. Throwing a battery in a drawer with metal or flammable items is not a good idea.

It’s best to keep them in their original packaging until ready to use. If you decide not to do that, then cover the raised part on the ends of the batteries with electrical tape. Remember that batteries have negative and positive charges on each end. This prevents them from making contact and creating a circuit.

Keep batteries away from other batteries, keys, paper clips, and change. Why? Imagine if two batteries touch and start an electrical spark. Imagine if a battery touches a metal key or paper clip. Activating the battery can result in a fire.

Batteries are useful. We need them to power our flashlights and electronics. But they contain an inherent danger that should not be ignored. Proper storage of batteries can prevent many of these dangers.

What else should we know about batteries? Well, we should never throw them in the trash. It might seem ridiculous to recycle them. But they can be a fire hazard when thrown into the flammable trash. Proper disposal of batteries can also help prevent fires.

Some stores have battery recycle bins. Look for notices about recycling batteries at electronics stores. If no stores in your area do this, contact state or city officials to find out how to dispose of your batteries. Throwing them into the trash could create a fire hazard for your home and the landfill.

Assess Your Home

Now is a good time to assess your home for fire hazards. Organize drawers and remove items that can cause fires. Find a safe place to store batteries away from items that could create a circuit. Recycle old and used batteries at an electronics store or through the city’s resources.

This common household item, the battery, does not have to be the cause of a house fire. Homeowners can prevent this type of house fire through diligence. Remember to properly store and dispose of batteries the right way.