MOUNT OLIVE — Storing 9-volt batteries together could start a fire.

Many kitchens have a "junk drawer" where everything gets tossed, including batteries, paperclips, coins, and other items, without a second thought.

Mt. Olive Fire Marshal Colin Baker issued a warning to keep batteries away from each other after an Aug. 2 fire was determined to have started because of the posts on the batteries coming in contact with each other. Baker told that the homeowner had several batteries stored under the sink.

"There was minimal damage minus the actual batteries. If the homeowners were not home, this incident could have been much worse," Baker wrote in his warning.

Eddie Donnelly, president Firemans Mutual Benevolent Association, said it's also a problem when batteries are not disposed of properly. He said he has witnessed a burn when batteries overheated and exploded.

Baker shared information from the National Fire Protection Association that recommends keeping the batteries in their packaging until they're needed, or to keep the posts wrapped in masking tape.

Other recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association about storing 9-volt batteries:

  • Keep batteries in original packaging until you are ready to
    use them. If loose, keep the posts covered with masking,
    duct, or electrical tape. Prevent the posts from coming in
    contact with metal objects.
  • Keep them someplace safe where they won’t be
    tossed around.
  • Store batteries standing up.
  • 9-volt batteries should not be stored loose in a drawer.
  • Do not store them in containers with other batteries.
  • 9-volt batteries should not be thrown away with trash.
  • They can come in contact with other batteries or pieces
    of metal.
  • 9-volt batteries can be taken to a collection site for
    household hazardous waste.
  • To be safe, cover the positive and negative posts with masking,
    duct, or electrical tape before getting rid of batteries.
  • Some states do not allow any type of battery to be disposed
    of with trash. Check with your city or town for the best way to
    get rid of batteries.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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