Batteries Burn Down Houses

Batteries Burn Down Houses

One 9 Volt Battery Can Burn Your House Down

Battery Safety Tips
Dave Miller Battery Fire

Credit: Dave Miller

It’s hard to imagine, but one 9-volt battery in a junk drawer is all it takes to burn down a house. According to an article in the Spring 2014 issue of The PFIA Protector, “Every 9 Volt battery is particularly flawed. The terminals are extremely close together. It doesn’t take much to short the terminals.”

It’s not only 9 volt batteries that can be dangerous. If batteries come into contact with metal, a ‘heating event’ can be created and a fire started. According to PFIA, it could be paperclip, key or even a bit of steel wool that comes into contact with a battery, completing the power cycle, and causing a fire.

[blockquote type="blockquote_quotes" align="left"] Dave collected the batteries in a bag and set the bag in the garage to recycle later. Two batteries bumped together shorting and the batteries became very warm and eventually burst into flames. Dave’s house burnt down because of two batteries. [/blockquote]

And there is nothing theoretical about the threat of battery fires as Dave Miller of Denver Colorado found out when two 9 volt batteries connected in a bag and burned his house down. Even more surprising, the two batteries that lit to burn down his house were old, used and in a bag, ready for recycling.

Dave now stores his batteries in plastic bags, one battery per bag.

Below is the video about Dave’s unfortunate experience as well as more tips on battery fire safety.

The PFIA Protector advises the following Battery Safety Tips:

  1. Keep all batteries in their packaging until you’re ready to use them.
  2. Don’t carry 9-volt batteries in your pocket or drawer, loose change and car keys can short the battery.
  3. Place electrical tape over all loose battery terminals.