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Battery safety precautions: how to use rechargeable batteries safely

As common as they are, batteries are very safe, provided they're used correctly. So how do you safely use, store and charge batteries? Usually, it comes to know your batteries (and devices). To simplify matters, we've listed up a few battery safety precautions that will help you increase safe use of your rechargeable batteries.

Safe charging

Before you attempt to charge a battery, make sure it is actually rechargeable. Some batteries, like alkaline or zinc carbon, cannot be charged - and should therefore never be put into a charger. Always check labels, packaging or other manuals to make sure.

Do your batteries get warm or even hot during a charge? Usually, some heat is no cause for con-cern. However, if the batteries do become too hot to touch, it's best to take the charger out of the power outlet immediately. Take the batteries out of the charger when they've sufficiently cooled down, as well.

Thirdly, it is advised to charge batteries with a charger of the same brand. If you have eneloop batteries, preferably charge them with a (Panasonic) eneloop charger - i.e. a charger that was specifically designed for eneloop batteries. Why? Batteries from different brands may be produced differently and may have a different chemical composition. Using a charger from the same brand ensures safe charging every time and prolongs the life of your battery.

Using batteries the right way

For maximum safety, it's best to use a battery the way its manufacturers intended. Never tinker with a battery. Battery safety precautions include to never disassemble, burn, cut or do anything the battery wasn't designed for. Don't use a battery if it appears damaged or shows signs of leakage.

Be sure to use the right battery size for your device. Don't attempt to fit a smaller AAA battery into an appliance designed for AA-sized batteries only. Use a spacer if necessary.

Also, be mindful to use the right type of battery. Usually though, using the wrong type of battery will affect performance a lot more than it will impact safety. You wouldn't get the most out of a high-drain device if you're using batteries designed for low-drain appliances - and vice versa. To find out more about what kind of battery to use, please refer to our battery guide.

Store batteries high and dry

So how do you keep batteries safe when you're not using them? It's best to keep three things in mind when storing batteries: keep them high, dry and away from conductive materials. Store them in a cool place as well, but never in the refrigerator. This increases the risk of damp batteries and may harm your devices.

Be mindful to keep batteries away from children at all times. As with any smaller item, a risk of swallowing and suffocation is always there. If a child has swallowed a battery, head to your nearest emergency room immediately.

With a few battery safety precautions, you can easily get the most out of your batteries. If you want to know more about how to get the most out of your batteries, you can always head to our battery guide.