Why You Shouldn’t Keep Batteries In The Junk Drawer

There is a drawer in almost every household that seems to be a catchall for every little item that doesn’t have a particular space. It is lovingly referred to as the ‘junk drawer’ and it helps to bring at least a little bit of organization to chaos.

Although we may put many different items in the junk drawer or they may find their way to the drawer in some way or another, there is one particular item that should never be included. I’m talking about loose batteries and the reason why is simple, putting loose batteries in your junk drawer is a fire hazard.

On every battery is a negative and positive post. Typically, they are on opposite ends of the battery, except for a 9 V battery where they are on the same side. If you happen to have a piece of metal in the drawer along with the battery and that metal comes in contact with both posts of the battery, a short circuit may occur. Although it is not always going to be the case, there may be enough heat generated to start a fire.

Stop to think about some of the different items that may also be in your drunk drawer. Is there anything that is flammable? You have the makings for a good fire, heat, fuel, and oxygen. There are also likely many items that could make the connection between the two posts, such as paperclips, chargers, coins, keys, pens, aluminum foil, and even steel wool.

Photo: PX FUEL

According to Reader’s Digest, the most unsafe battery for the junk drawer is a 9 V battery. That is because of the close proximity of the negative and positive posts. They are not the only batteries that are dangerous, because any battery where the posts are on the opposite end may pose a risk.

Prevention is the most important factor to consider in this regard and the easiest way to prevent a fire is to keep the batteries out of the junk drawer and away from metal objects. For those who are short on space, you may want to take the recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association. They recommend keeping the batteries in the original packaging and covering the post with some type of tape when you’re not using them. In addition, don’t simply throw a 9 V battery in a container with other batteries because batteries are metal objects as well.

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