Storing batteries safely to prevent fires

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) -- Some of us may have that kitchen junk drawer that has loose batteries, tools, and other items in it, but these drawers might be a fire waiting to happen. If batteries touch in the wrong way, they might catch fire and cause a lot of damage.

"Don't let them just roll in there," Big G Ace Hardware Store Manager Linda Dill said. "Don't let them roll against the screw driver, because it can just transfer on to another battery or something down the line. The best thing to do is to store them upright and somehow covered."

Fire officials said 9-volt batteries are more hazardous.

"You'd see them in many homes, but the positive and negative end of that battery are both very close," Chief Kent Gilbert with the Hastings Fire Department said. "It's easy for those to be shorted accidentally. It's important to remember that it will create enough heat to cause a fire."

Putting masking tape on batteries is one way to prevent them from touching. Plastic bags are another way.

"Putting them in plastic bags with all the negatives up, all the positives up, or however you want to do that," Dill said. "Make sure they're tight, so they don't roll around in that."

Officials said when people are done using the batteries they should get rid of them immediately to help ensure safety.

It's recommended that people keep the original packing of the batteries and leave them in there until they are ready to use them.

Read the original version of this article at nbcneb.com.