Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Battery Safety

This photo shows the contents of one of my pockets.  I went out on a service call for a furnace yesterday and on my way out of the shop I grabbed a couple AA batteries for my flash light.  I was in a hurry so I just tossed them in my pocket. 

A few hours later I felt something hot on my leg.  At first I thought maybe I had been leaning against one of the hot pipes in the boiler room.  Then I looked down at my leg thinking that maybe I had spilled some of the hot glycol from the boiler onto myself.  When I saw that my pants were dry I realized that the heat was coming from my pocket.

When I reached into my pocket one of the batteries was very hot.  Not hot enough to burn my fingers, but hot enough to make me think about it.  Apparently the battery was shorting out on all the metal stuff in my pocket.  From now on I am going to be more careful with batteries.  I don't know if they could get hot enough to start a fire, but I don't want to find out.


  1. C.O.
    My brother (an Electrical Eng.) and I were talking about batteries last month. As I remember, he said NiMH batteries can release their energy at rates many times greater than some other types. So perhaps you were fortunate that wasn't a charged battery from a power tool in your pocket. I'll forward your blog and get his comment. Think Spring! TIM SULLIVAN

  2. I have personally experienced this today. Two AA batteries, loose change, a cellular phone and car keys in my pocket and shortly after felt as if my leg was on fire. Turned out the batteries got extremely hot and was shorting out in my trouser's pocket. I think it could have gotten worst.