House Fires Caused By Storage of 9 Volt Batteries In Junk Drawers Rising

* If You Know of  a Fire Incident in Your Town Caused by 9 Volt, AA or AAA Battery Storage in a Home, Please Note it in the comments Section of this Post! Thank You!

If you are storing loose 9 volt or AA or other batteries in a kitchen drawer or a “junk” drawer in your home, watch how you store them. Above all don’t store them loose and rolling around with other metal, glues and more of the lovely mix of things we keep in our junk drawers.

All you need to have happen is for a metal object like steel wool or a paper clip short out across the top of a 9 volt battery and ignite paper or other easily ignited materials and you’ll have a potential disaster in your home. As indicated on the YouTube Video below, it doesn’t take much to heat a metallic object or cause a spark in order to start a fire. *Please Do Not Do This At Home*

What to do with a 9 Volt Battery

I teach  safety to the public, common sense tells most of us what to do in situations that could become life threatening. I speak to 50-60 people at a time about fire safety in the home on a monthly basis. I get the same reaction from every group when I hold up a 9 volt battery and announce that it is a fire hazard and it could burn down your house.

They all kinda look at me funny, as if to ask, “Did you just say a 9 volt battery could burn down my house?” That look is almost comical.

Q: Where do you store your batteries?

A: Throw them in  in a “junk” drawer

I then hold up a brillo pad. (just one example)

Q: What do you do with the batteries when you are done with them?

A: Throw them in the trash.

A 9 volt battery (see video) is a fire hazard because the positive and negative posts are on top, right next to one another. If this comes in contact with anything metal (aluminum foil, brillo, etc…) it will spark, and if there is a fuel for this spark you will have a fire. (fire needs heat, fuel and oxygen to burn) To test this theory, put a 9 volt battery or a couple of AA batteries in your pocket with some loose change or your key chain full of keys, (use common sense) this will bring on a whole new meaning to the words, Hot Pants.

When you dispose of this type of battery (positive and negative on top) Make sure it is safely wrapped in electrical tape or something to keep it separated from anything else that may come in contact with it. A small box or ziplock bag if kept in a junk drawer should suffice.  I have seen in some stores now that the manufacturers are now packaging them with plastic caps. If you need to purchase a 9 volt battery try to find those that are packaged in this manner.

Try to be just as diligent with AA or AAA batteries. Keep them in their original packaging if stored in a “junk drawer”. Don’t let them roll around freely with all the other wonderful miscellaneous items we unknowingly toss in the drawer and don’t think twice about it. Below are some additional tips in how to protect your kitchen from fire!

See An Updated Post on this Subject Here:

How to Protect Your Kitchen from Fire

By Gilbert Nichols, eHow Member
Fire Station Personnel are vital to every citizen's well being!

Fire can strike at any moment. It can devastate whole families and destroy years of memories and possessions. Fire takes and gives nothing back.

Fire Prevention includes having a plan how to deal with it and how to stay safe. Kitchen fires are the most common of all house fires because of so many contributing factors. In this article, we will touch on what you need and must have in order to protect your kitchen from fire.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Common Sense
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Smoke Detector – Photoelectric
  • Fire Detector – Clanging Bell
  • Fire Escape Plan
  • Cooperation by all in the house
  1. 1

    This household practices a fire drill every month!

    This household practices a fire drill every month!

    Fire safety in the kitchen is everybody’s responsibility, not just the main user of the kitchen. Therefore, in order to best protect your kitchen from fire, you must have an order how to do so. Smoke alarms are a must, if they are the right kind. Everybody can relate to the smoke alarm that goes off whenever you burn toast and you fan the smoke away from the detector so it will shut off. Eventually, you remove the batteries and sometimes forget to put them back in.

    The best detector for the kitchen is the bell detector. It sounds just like the school bell and is marketed in a fire resistant metal shell. It has a metal band wound by a key and will ring at 89 decibel or better for five minutes. See Resources for where to get them.

  2. 2

    A fire safety plan must be high priority and practiced monthly regardless of personal feelings. If we require schools to practice them often, why not families? Your plan should show where fire extinguishers are as well as multiple exits. For the kitchen, it would be good to know where to get out in the event a fire starts that is too big to handle.

  3. 3

    Dry chemical fire extinguishers work on most types of fires in the home.

    Dry chemical fire extinguishers work on most types of fires in the home.

    Fire extinguishers are only as good as the person handling them. Get to know which kind is best for your particular need. In the kitchen, an all-purpose or ABC fire extinguisher is best.

    A good rule of thumb with ABC extinguishers is to shake them twice or three times a year to loosen up the powder inside. The CO2 powder can clump over time and become useless. It should be placed in a cabinet or wall mounted in a central location in the kitchen for easy access.

  4. 4

    Keep out of reach of children and open flame.

    Keep out of reach of children and open flame.

    Remove combustibles away from open heat or flame. Paper plates, menus and cookbooks should not be near flames or hot surfaces. Also, keep flour and powdered coffee creamers away as they can EXPLODE if too close or dropped onto fire.

  5. 5

    Lids should make a proper seal to be effective.

    Lids should make a proper seal to be effective.

    Keep lids to pans close at hand to tightly fit over skillets in the event of a stove top fire. Although baking soda has been known to work, the best thing to do is cover the fire with a lid. Fire needs three ingredients: fuel, heat and oxygen. In the event of a fire, if you can remove any one of these three ingredients, you will eliminate your fire.

    It is important to note that if the fire is too much involved, get out of the house and call the fire department. Regardless whether you get all the fire out that you can see, if it had gotten into the ceiling where you cannot see it can smolder and erupt with a vengeance.

  6. 6

    Kitchen fires have occurred from faulty old coffee makers

    Kitchen fires have occurred from faulty old coffee makers

    Unplug unused counter top items, such as toasters, coffee makers and other electrical devices. At one time, old coffee makers were known to short out, causing scores of house fires nationwide.

    In addition to this, overloaded outlets are fires waiting to happen. Spread out your devices and consider stepping up your electrical circuits to handle more amperage.

  7. 7

    Check under your refrigerator for dust buildup and clean accordingly. Dust can ignite with a spark and cause a fire. Keep any loose papers and other items that can “fuel” a fire away. The same holds true for the fans over many stoves. The filter screen can draw in household dust and a floating spark could set it on fire.

  8. 8

    VITAL STEP! DO NOT MISS THIS! Your “junk” drawers are often found in the kitchen where spare batteries, cords and stuff is kept. Fires have often been linked to junk drawers in houses where exposed 9-volt batteries came into contact with steel wool. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!!

    Try this outside with supervision only: take a piece of steel wool and a nine volt battery. Hold the wool against both terminals of the battery at the same time and prepare to drop the wool onto a cement pavement. This can happen in your kitchen, in your junk drawer, with or without you being nearby. This can also happen in the trash can.

  9. 9

    1906 Fire Service in Old Sacramento, California

    1906 Fire Service in Old Sacramento, California

    Practice these steps and drill with everyone who stays overnight with you. Request your children and their friends to be conscious of this when away from home. Rehearse with your siblings, parents, grand parents and neighbors. Invite members of the local fire department to come out and hold a neighborhood fire training. Make it a block safety party and invite the media.

Read more: How to Protect Your Kitchen from Fire |

9 thoughts on “House Fires Caused By Storage of 9 Volt Batteries In Junk Drawers Rising

  1. We had a fire start today, in our battery storage bin. Could have been a 9v or AA, we couldn’t tell. Fortunately we were home and smelled burning plastic and after 3-4 minutes tracked it down. There was a steady flame going when we found it from burning plastic. Scorched a cabinet but could have been much much worse.

    Eugene, OR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ben,

      Thank you for the feedback. It seems the problem is just as great as I thought it was. Glad you and your family are okay and you caught it early. Thanks for sharing your story.



Comments Welcomed!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.