By HOWARD ROBB
Glade Fire Chief
For The Vista
I have been receiving E-Mails from our residents asking if a 9 volt Battery can start or cause a fire so I have spent time researching this problem.
This is one article:
“Do you have 9 volt batteries rolling around loose in a kitchen junk drawer? If so, you should know that these batteries are capable of causing a fire if they come in contact with metallic objects in the drawer like paper clips, pen clips etc.
“The danger occurs when the metallic object touches both the positive and negative posts on the top of the battery. Storing 9 volt batteries in a plastic bag with other batteries can also be dangerous.”
Here is another:
PITTSBURGH (CBS) – Do you have a “junk drawer” somewhere in you house. Most people do, and most of us probably don’t give a second thought to what we put in it. But we probably should since there may be items that when thrown in together can start a fire. People have all sorts of stuff in a “junk drawer.” But one of those things could cause a fire – a 9-volt battery.
A test conducted
by a Fire Chief
“The potential is there,” says Chief MacCaffrie. “There are a lot of things in a normal junk drawer that do burn, and apparently the ignition source was a 9-volt battery”.
Chief MacCaffrie put items like keys, the clip of a pen and paper clips on the battery and set it next to a tissue. In minutes, the battery heated up I suggest you not touch that battery,” he said. In about 10 minutes, it had already browned the tissue. The same process works even faster with steel wool.
Chief MacCaffrie says there are easy solutions.
“Just take a piece of electrical tape and put it across the battery and you have no chance,” he said. It’s a simple move to protect your house from a common but very real risk. Experts say it’s also dangerous to store 9-volt batteries in containers with other batteries.
In fact, a house fire in July in New Hampshire was caused by a 9-volt battery that was stored in a plastic bag with other batteries and rubbed up against them, igniting the fire.
I have read other articles that say no way: “ … making a “loose” connection to cause a spark is nearly impossible. I suspect this is someone’s “worry” rather than an actual fact. My question is: Is there Energy in a 9-volt battery to start a fire? If so, how? This assertion, (starting a fire) may be theoretically correct, but in real life seems to be not on the probability scale. “
I have read lots more articles on how a 9 volt battery may cause a fire. Some say yes and have tested their theory.
Some have tested their theory and say no way, so let’s look at the bigger picture.
We need to be safe and proactive in our own homes. Let’s error on the side of being safe, and read or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.