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9-Volt Battery Safety

9-volt batteries power our smoke alarms, household items and toys. They can be found in most homes, but these batteries can be a fire hazard if not stored safely or disposed of properly.

The Problem

  • The positive and negative posts are close together If a metal object touches the two posts of a 9-volt battery, it can cause a short circuit. This can make enough heat to start a fire.
  • Do not store 9-volt batteries in a drawer near paper clips, coins, pens or other batteries. Do not store common household items like steel wool, aluminum foil, and keys near a 9-volt battery. If these touch the two posts, there is greater risk of a fire starting.
  • Weak batteries may still have enough charge to cause a fire. Some fires have started in trash cans when 9-volt batteries have been thrown away with other metal items.

Storing 9-Volt 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 posts from coming into contact with metal objects.
  • Store batteries standing up.
  • Keep them someplace they won't be tossed around.


  • 9-volt batteries should NOT be thrown away with regular trash.
  • Take them to a collection site for hazardous waste.
  • To be safe, cover the positive and negative ends with masking, duct or electrical tape before disposing.