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Electrical Safety Tip: Keep Batteries Safe

(Photo - Batteries) Thousands of batteries are used every year at SLAC and range from AAA size to large system batteries in heavy equipment. Batteries store energy that is usually delivered to a circuit over a long period of time and can present several kinds of hazards.

- Batteries can contain hazardous chemicals and need to be disposed of as hazardous waste at a SLAC collection site.

- Some batteries produce gas when charging. Don't allow this gas to collect and make sure there is adequate ventilation.

- Batteries can burn or shock and working on them may require special training (Electrical Safety Training #274)

- Fluids from lead-acid (car) batteries can cause severe damage to the eyes and skin. Use proper PPE when handling a damaged or leaking battery. Manage material used to clean up a battery acid spill as hazardous waste.

- Short circuits cause a great reduction in battery capacity. To prevent short circuits in a battery, avoid overcharging and over-discharging.

- Battery charging installations may require an EEIP inspection.

Please use batteries safely and dispose of them as hazardous waste.

—The Electrical Safety Committee
   SLAC Today, May 24, 2006