Batteries come in a variety of sizes, shapes and uses.
Review the types of batteries you need for the types of devices you have. Store extras of the types and sizes you need. Proper storage extends battery lives and prevents them from becoming a safety hazard. Here are some storage tips:
- Store batteries in their original package if possible. This will protect them from humidity. Date the package with purchase date. Use oldest ones first.
- Keep partially used batteries separate from new ones. Store each type in its own container or plastic bag. Keep batteries from different manufacturers separate.
- Store batteries at room temperature or below but it is not necessary to store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Do not store near other metals, they may start conducting electricity, which will drain your batteries quickly and create heat. Align batteries so the positive terminals cannot contact the negative terminals of other batteries. Cover the terminals with masking tape or plastic caps (especially 9 volts)
- Rechargeable batteries will be permanently damaged if kept in a discharged state. Recharge them periodically. Recharge lead acid batteries every six months; Lithium ion batteries should be recharged to 30-50% capacity every few months. Pay attention to apply voltage with the correct polarity.
- Keep batteries, especially small and coin lithium batteries and their devices out of the reach of children. If swallowed, they can get stuck in a child’s esophagus and cause serious damage in less than two hours. If suspected, take child to an emergency room immediately. Take battery identification number with you and do not let child eat or drink until an x-ray determines if battery is present. Don’t induce vomiting.
- Remove batteries from devices and store them separately (in a plastic bag) with device when not in use.
There are two kinds of matches
safety matches and strike anywhere matches. Safety matches can only produce fire when struck against a strip on the packaging that is chemically compatible to the matchstick head. Strike anywhere matches were difficult to find for a while, but seem now to be making a comeback. They can be struck against any dry or grainy surface. All matches can create a fire hazard and must be stored safely.
- Keep matches dry to ensure they’ll strike when needed. If you want dry matches, keep them in a waterproof container. There is no such thing as a waterproof match.
- For long term storage, use a Food Saver and seal them inside plastic.
- If you store them in a glass jar, don’t put the jar high on a shelf where it can get knocked off and broken.
- BIC lighters make a good alternative.
Billie Nicholson, Editor