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The Colorado Springs Fire Department is always asking our community to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms to ensure your are notified in the event of a fire. As you are doing your part to stay fire safe, please be aware of the proper storage and disposal of that 9-volt battery. 9-volt batteries power our smoke alarms, household items and toys. They can be found in most homes. But did you know that these batteries can be a fire hazard if not stored safely or disposed of with care? The CSFD urges everyone to follow a few simple 9-volt safety tips to prevent a fire in your home.

The reason the 9-volt battery can be dangerous is that the positive and negative posts are close together. If a metal object touches the two posts of the battery, it can cause a short circuit making enough heat to start a fire.

It is unsafe to store 9-volt batteries in a drawer near paper clips, coins, pens, or other batteries. Do not store common household items such as steel wool, aluminum foil, and key near 9-volt batteries. If these items touch the two posts, there is a greater risk of a fire starting. Weak batteries may have enough charge to cause a fire. Some fires have started in the trash when 9-volt batteries were thrown away with other metal items.

Safety Tip:

Check your junk drawers to make sure you are storing all of your batteries properly to avoid a fire in your home.

Action Steps You Can Take:

Storing 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 tossed around.
  • Store batteries standing up.
  • 9-volt batteries should not be stored loose in a drawer.
  • Do not store them in containers with other batteries.

Proper Disposal

  • 9-volt batteries should not be thrown away with trash. They can come in contact with other batteries or pieces of metal.
  • 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.

You can download and print this 9-Volt Battery Safety Flyer.