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Battery Safety Tips

Date : 29 March 2016

Know why batteries leak and what to do in case of an emergency

When it comes to batteries, we at Eveready enjoy educating the public about various battery facts, which batteries are the right ones to use for their devices and also about battery safety.

If batteries are abused or not stored or used correctly, some of them have the potential to be dangerous. Over time, batteries leak something called potassium hydroxide – this battery fluid is often referred to as "battery acid” due to the effect it has on skin contact, however it is technically not an acid.

This month, we have some tips for you on what you should do if you find yourself in a situation where a battery poses a threat.

Possible scenarios

 One of the most common scenarios to be in when it comes to batteries is leaking battery fluid. This is caused by a number of reasons, such as leaving batteries unused in a device for a long period of time, storing them in heated places and mixing old and new batteries. If the chemicals in a battery are not discharged through use, they begin to self-discharge – causing the battery to "erupt”.

Although dangerous battery incidents aren’t particularly common, it’s always helpful to know what to do should something happen. Possible scenarios include battery fluid leaking onto your skin or getting into your eyes; and even a child or pet swallowing a battery.

Take a look at what to do should you be in one of these two situations:

What to do when battery fluid leaks onto your skin

Due to the presence of electrolytes, battery fluid (potassium hydroxide) is a very harsh fluid that will cause burns and skin irritations should it make contact with your skin and eyes.

If battery fluid leaks onto your hands, body or into your eyes, it’s imperative that you rinse the area immediately under running water for about 10 minutes. If the burning pain and the look of your injury worsens, please contact a doctor for medical advice; or, if not available, visit your nearest pharmacy where they can assist you.

To prevent something like this happening as much as possible, remember to put gloves on when removing very old batteries from devices – particularly if they have a white substance on them. This substance is the leaked fluid that has dried.

What to do when a child or pet swallows a battery

The general size of batteries makes this scenario very rare, however, it does happen and you should know what to do if it happens to your child or pet!

Button batteries are more risky as they’re smaller in size and easy to swallow; however, should your child or pet happen to swallow battery, it could possibly leak and cause burns in the throat, mouth and sometimes even the oesophagus.

You have to take your child to the doctor or your pet to the vet immediately if they have swallowed any type of battery. It’s very important to note that you must NOTgive them any food or drinks; and definitely NOTtry to make them throw it up.

These are just two possible situations that may occur and be dangerous when it comes to batteries. To avoid them, make sure you store and use your batteries correctly and that you keep all of them out of reach of children and animals.