Friday, June 18, 2010

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: when handling a battery

There are many dangers revolving around batteries. Batteries contain sulfuric acid and produce explosive materiel such as hydrogen and oxygen gas, so a battery must always be stored in a well ventilated area to reduce the chances of it exploding.

If handling battery acid or electrolyte [which is a solution of sulfuric acid and water] use extreme caution. It has the potential to destroy clothing and burn the skin. Always keep an acid neutralizing agent close at hand. The Battery Council International recommends to keep neutralizers such as baking soda, or household ammonia mixed with water near by in case of a spill.

When handling the batteries always wear:

  • Proper eye, face and hand protection. (ANSI Z87.1 US STANDARD APPROVED SAFETY GLASSES)
  • If the electrolyte is splashed into an eye, immediately force the eye open and flood it with clean, cool water for at least 15 minuets and seek Immediate medical assistance.
  • If electrolyte is taken internally, drink large quantities of water or milk. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Seek immediate medical assistance.
  • Neutralize with baking soda if electrolyte spills on work area or vehicle, After neutralizing rinse area with water.
  • Under NO condition should a consumer prepare to adjust the concentration of electrolyte using concentrated sulfuric acid.

To reduce the chances of a battery exploding:

  • Again wear proper eye, face, and hand protection
  • Keep all sparks, flames, and cigarettes away from the battery
  • Never try to open a battery with non-removable vents.
  • Keep removable vents tight and level
  • Never lean the battery when charging or testing
  • Exercise caution when working with metallic tools to prevent short circuits or sparks
  • Heed all precaution labels and warnings, and always consult your service manual.

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