Battery Handing

Handle Battery Safety


As with anything, with batteries you have to know what you're doing. Batteries can be dangerous. But they don’t have to be if some simple safety precautions are followed.

Basically, working with batteries poses two hazards: potentially explosive gases that are given off during charging, and sulfuric acid, which is very corrosive.


Here’s an 8-point list that’ll help keep those hazards under control:

1. ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING, SPARKS OR OPEN FLAMES AROUND BATTERIES. Batteries can produce hydrogen and oxygen; if they ignite the battery can rupture.

2. On conventional batteries, loosen vent caps when charging and ventilate the entire charging area. A build-up of hydrogen and oxygen levels in the battery-or in the room where it’s being charged – can create a hazard.

3. If a battery feels hot to the touch during charging, stop charging and allow it to cool before resuming. Heat damages the plates, and a battery that’s too hot can rupture.

4. Never put the red sealing cap back on the battery once you take it off. If you do, gases trapped inside can explode. Make sure the vent tube isn’t kinked or blocked, for the same reason.

5. Properly connect charger to battery: positive to positive, negative to negative. Unplug the charger or turn it off before you disconnect the leads; that cuts down on the chance of sparks.

6. Always wear eye protection, protective gloves and protective clothing.

7. Clean up acid spills immediately, using a water and baking soda solution to neutralize (1 lb. baking soda in 1 gal. water).

8. Make sure acid container is clearly marked and the work area is well lighted.



If sulfuric acid is swallowed or splashed in the eyes, take immediate action. While the diluted sulfuric acid used as electrolyte can burn the skin, this type of injury is generally less serious. Sulfuric acid in the eyes can cause blindness. Serious internal injuries or death can result from ingesting sulfuric acid.




External–flush with water.

Internal–drink large quantities of milk or water, followed by milk of magnesia, vegetable oil or beaten eggs. Call a poison control center or doctor immediately.

Eyes–flush for several minutes with water, get immediate medical attention.




◇ Ventilate battery charging area.

◇ Charging gives off gases - no smoking, sparks or flames.

◇ Safety glasses or face shields protect against eye damage.

◇ Acid swallowed or in the eyes requires immediate antidotes and medical care.

◇ All safety considerations are important... review them frequently.

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