Nine-Volt Batteries: Hidden Fire Hazards In Your Home

(Memphis) Across the country, nine-volt batteries are sparking fires in kitchen junk drawers, trash cans, and even pockets.

All batteries are capable of exploding, but the ones you use in smoke detectors and radios are ticking time bombs.

Unlike other batteries, nine-volts have negative and positive posts on the same side, and if it rubs against a piece of metal in your trash can or drawers, it will create heat and ignite.

The Memphis Fire Department said it hasn't seen it cause a house fire, but it can easily happen.

"If they are mishandled, they can be a problem," said Dr. Charles Hussey. "The contents inside forms gases, the cases ruptures, and you end up with a fire."

Hussey is a chemistry professor at Ole Miss.

He said the best way you can prevent your batteries from sparking: keep the safety cap on or put some duct tape on the top, before you store it or throw it away.

There is fine print warning on battery packaging about what can happen.

Even Duracell admits that's the case, but it is very rare.

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