Recycling Your Batteries, or, The Tale of the Dangerous 9-volt

Did You Know?
Whether at your office or your home, 9-volt batteries pose a serious fire hazard. Because the terminals on a 9-volt battery are so close together, they have a possibility of transferring a charge even when they aren’t being used to power a device. This happens when a conductive material presses against the positive and negative terminals at the same time, creating a bridge between them. This bridge, which generates the electricity that powers your electronics, can actually produce enough energy to start a fire.

How do we stop our 9-volt batteries from becoming quickly-ticking fire-bombs?
There’s one easy step to prevent 9-volt batteries from being a danger in your home or office. Simply take a piece of electrical tape–it can be found at any store that sells hardware-type items–and put it over BOTH the 9-volt’s negative and positive terminals. This way, even if a conductive material does touch both of the terminals at the same time, the electrical tape will act as a barrier, and no charge will be able to get through.

You mentioned a battery recycling bucket…I don’t have one! What can I do with my used batteries?
Great question! Every building at Vanderbilt–dorms, staff areas, and classrooms–should have access to a battery recycling bucket. You can drop off used batteries there, and pat yourself on the back for doing the environment a good deed!

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