Thursday, January 16, 2014

The danger in your recycling bin

As you know, I'm a strong proponent of recycling. My family recycles as much as we can, including batteries. As a matter of fact, my daughter started a battery recycling program at our church. However, after watching the video below today, I'll be changing my ways a bit. 

You see, there is danger involved whenever you have 9 volt batteries laying around, whether in your junk drawer or recycling container, unless you do one simple thing. 

First, let's look at what is so dangerous about them. 

According to a press release, New Hampshire Fire Marshal, William Degnan states that a 9 volt battery is a fire hazard because of the positioning of the positive and negative posts which are right next to each other. If the end of the battery comes into contact with anything metal (paper clip, other batteries, scissors, aluminum foil), this can cause the 9 volt battery to heat up and ignite. Scary stuff. So, how many of you are heading to your junk drawers to see if you have any 9 volt batteries tossed in there? What about your battery recycling containers? 

In the video below, you'll see how a house was destroyed by a 9 volt battery. Apparently, it's not an uncommon occurrence, which is why I felt the need to share this information with you. 

Many people follow the advice to switch your smoke detector batteries annually, or semi-annually. When you do that, you are placing a still-live 9 volt battery aside with enough juice left to burn down your house. Yikes! 

So, what do you do? The solution is simple. Keep a roll of electrical tape with your battery recycling container and cover the positive and negative posts of the battery before you put it in the bin. If you open a package with two 9 volt batteries and use only one, do not put the battery in your junk drawer without doing the same thing. Yes, it's just a 9 volt battery. But please believe me, that even after it's been used, it could still have enough juice to light a fire. 

Protect your home and your loved ones. It's easy and it's important.


  1. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for sharing this.

    1. You're most welcome. Hopefully, it will help prevent tragedies like this.

  2. I saw this video and got rid of the batteries in my house. My local recycling center is my local library and when I deposited them I noticed they were overflowing with batteries. That's when I realized I transferred the fire risk from my house to the library. Next time I go in I will alert them to that fact.

    If your daughter has a recycling program, make sure she isn't transferring the the problem to church.

    1. Thanks, Tina. Yes, we're already on it with the church recycling. It was one of my first thoughts!


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