Why You Shouldn’t Keep Batteries in the Junk Drawer

Leaving this one item in the junk drawer could put you at risk.

Everyone has that one drawer in their home, usually in their kitchen somewhere, that’s purely dedicated to random bits of everything. You know which one we’re talking about—the junk drawer. You’ll find all sorts of things in the junk drawer—rubber bands, pens, paper clips, tape, change, you name it, you’ll probably find it in there. But one thing that you should most definitely steer clear of throwing in your junk drawer? Batteries—especially loose, exposed, 9-volt batteries. Why? You might unwittingly start a fire in your home.

Many people know that a 9-volt battery and some steel wool is a great fire starter. And that’s just one example of why batteries shouldn’t be kept loose in a junk drawer, especially 9-volt batteries. It’s possible that loose metal objects in the junk drawer could short out a 9-volt battery and spark a fire—just one of the hidden fire hazards in your home you should be aware of. It’s best to keep batteries in the packaging or keep the posts covered with tape.

If your batteries aren’t working and you’re about to toss ’em, remember that even though they might be “dead” batteries, they still have a little bit of charge left in them, so you’ll want to be careful with how you dispose of them to prevent a fire. With 9-volt batteries, continue to cover the posts with tape like you would if you were storing them in your drawer and group used batteries together in a container that won’t spark a charge, like cardboard, before you throw them in the trash. Better yet, recycle your batteries instead—they’re just one of the 11 things you didn’t know you could upcycle or recycle.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman