Battery Safety Tips

Battery Handling Tips

Batteries provide a portable – and usually safe- source of electricity power for numerous applications from tiny dry cells in the wristwatch to industrial size utility backups.

There are some hazards associated with batteries, however. The chemical reaction required to generate electricity involves toxic and explosive substances, harmful to human and the environment. Therefore special care is needed when handling batteries.

Dismantle-Never dismantle a battery, as the materials inside the battery are be toxic and may damage skin and clothes.

Old and new batteries usage – Avoid using old and new batteries at the same time. Also avoid mixing batteries using differing cell chemistries such as ordinary dry-cell batteries, Ni-Cd, NiMH batteries or with a different manufacturer’s batteries. Differences in various characteristic values, etc., can cause harm to the batteries or the product in use.

Short-circuiting-Never try to short-circuit a battery. Doing so can damage the product and generate heat that can cause burns.

Use of batteries for other purposes-do not use a battery in an appliance or purpose for which it was not intended. Differences in specifications can damage the battery or appliance.

Do not dispose batteries into a fire or water-disposing of a battery in fire can cause the battery to rupture. Also avoid placing batteries in water, as this may cause the battery to fail.

Soldering-Never solder anything directly to a battery. This can destroy the safety features of the battery by damaging the safety vent inside the cap. Permanent connections to an energy cell may be made by spot welding solder tags to the terminals. A soldered connection can subsequently be made to the tag.

Inserting the batteries with their polarities reversed-Never insert a battery with the positive and negative poles reversed as this can cause permanent damage to the battery which may swell or rupture.

Overcharging at high currents and reverse charging-Never reverse charge or overcharge with high currents (i.e. higher than rated). Doing so causes quick gas generation and amplified gas pressure, thus causing batteries to swell or rupture.Once battery is fully charged it should be disconnected from the charger

Installation in equipment (with an airtight battery compartment) – Its Batteries produce hydrogen gas, also known as H2. This gas is explosive It’s recommended to design a non-airtight battery compartments.

In some cases, gases (oxygen, hydrogen) may be given off, and there is a danger of the batteries bursting or rupturing in the presence of a source of ignition (sparks generated by a motor switch, etc.).

Charging-Never charge with an unspecified charger or specified charger that has been modified. Many workplace have rooms where large batteries that power mobile equipments are charged and changed.

Handling these batteries requires special training to prevent explosion and other kinds of exposure. The room has to be well ventilated. This can cause breakdown of the battery or swelling and rupturing.

Never attempt to charge a battery which has been physically damaged.

Short-circuiting of battery packs-Special caution is required to prevent short-circuiting any battery since the consequences can be very dangerous. Care must be taken during the design of the battery pack shape to ensure batteries cannot be inserted in reverse. Also, caution must be given to prevent accidental short-circuiting of the battery.

Storage-Store the batteries in a cool place, dry and well-ventilated area  when in use don’t allow them to remain in environments which may be subject to overheating. (E.g. direct sunlight in a locked car)

ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) Bags-Do not put batteries into plastic bags designed to protect components from electrostatic discharge. These bags are made from conductive material which could cause the battery to be short circuited.

Battery seal. Do not remove any seals from dry-charged batteries until they are ready to commission the battery by filling it with acid. (The seal reserves the charge in the battery. If it is damaged, air will enter and cause the battery to lose charge).

Other Precautions-Batteries should always be charged prior to use. Be sure to charge in the approved manner.

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