In our modern world, batteries of all kinds have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. From powering our electronic devices like laptops and cell phones, powering cars and trucks, to providing backup energy during emergencies at home and places like hospitals, batteries play a crucial role in keeping us connected and prepared. Let’s talk about why you should keep batteries on hand!
Why is it important to keep batteries on hand?
Keeping batteries on hand is essential for a variety of reasons. Batteries power many devices that we rely on daily, such as flashlights, remote controls, smoke detectors, and portable electronics. In emergency situations or power outages, having extra batteries ensures that these devices can continue to function.
1. Powering Electronic Devices
One of the primary reasons to keep batteries on hand is to power our electronic devices. Whether it’s our smartphones, laptops, remote controls, or even toys, batteries provide the necessary energy to keep these devices running smoothly. In an age where we heavily rely on technology, having a stash of batteries ensures that we can continue using our devices without interruptions. A World Without Technology: A Glimpse into the Unplugged Life
Some devices, like cell phones, typically use rechargeable batteries that only the manufacturer or distributor can change. However, the majority allow access to the batteries so they can be changed when needed, whether they use regular batteries or rechargeable varieties. That’s why it’s also a good idea to get acquainted with the different types of batteries being used by your devices and determine how many should be on hand as backups.
2. Emergency Preparedness
Emergencies can strike at any time, and being prepared is key to ensuring our safety and well-being. Batteries play a vital role in emergency preparedness by providing backup energy when the power goes out. Flashlights, radios, and portable chargers are just a few examples of devices that rely on batteries to function during emergencies. By keeping batteries on hand, you can ensure that you are ready to face any unforeseen situation that may arise.
3. Portable Power Source
Batteries are not only useful during power outages but also when you are on the go. Whether you’re camping in the wilderness or traveling to a remote location, having spare batteries can be a lifesaver. Portable devices such as GPS trackers, portable fans, and electric camping lanterns all require batteries to operate. Keep a stash of batteries, so you can enjoy the convenience of these devices no matter where you are.
4. Environmental Benefits
Using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones can have significant environmental benefits. Disposable batteries contribute to electronic waste, which can harm the environment if not properly disposed of. By opting for rechargeable batteries, you can reduce your ecological footprint and help conserve the planet’s resources. Rechargeable batteries tend to have a longer lifespan, making them a more sustainable option in the long run. How To Recharge Batteries With Solar For Survival
The expected battery life you can count on depends on the type of battery, the room temperature where batteries are being used and where battery storage takes place, and also the humidity of those locations. Our home in St. George, Utah was located in a hot and arid area. The low humidity was great, but we couldn’t store our batteries in the garage due to the extreme heat.
5. Cost-Effective Solution
While purchasing rechargeable batteries may seem like an additional expense, it can actually be a cost-effective solution in the long term. Consider the price of constantly replacing disposable batteries versus investing in rechargeable ones. Over time, the cost of buying new batteries can add up significantly. Keeping batteries on hand and opting for rechargeable options, you can save money in the long run and ensure that you always have a readily available power source. How To Store Your Batteries
What types of batteries should I keep on hand?
The types of batteries you should keep on hand will depend on the devices you use regularly. Common types include AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt batteries. As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to check the devices you own and make a list of the battery sizes they require.
How should I store batteries?
Proper storage is important to maximize the lifespan of batteries. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing batteries in extreme temperatures, as excessive heat or cold can shorten their shelf life. It’s also advisable to keep batteries in their original packaging or use an organizer to prevent contact with metal objects and potential short-circuiting. Battery Organizer
That includes making sure the batteries’ terminals of your stored batteries don’t make contact with the battery terminals of other batteries. That’s why you shouldn’t throw loose batteries in a junk drawer hoping they don’t touch and short out. If you can keep them in their original packaging, that’s the best approach. If not, I suggest you store them in a small box where they can be lined up and stacked with the positive terminals and negative terminals all facing the same direction.
How long do batteries last in storage?
The shelf life of batteries varies depending on the type and brand. Alkaline batteries typically have a shelf life of 5 to 10 years when stored properly. However, it’s important to periodically check the expiration date on the packaging and replace any expired batteries.
It might seem strange, but batteries do have a self-discharge rate such that they will eventually fully discharge without being used. The expiration dates on the packages show that modern batteries have a pretty good shelf life over an extended period of time.
How can I determine if a battery is still usable?
To check if a battery is still usable, you can perform a simple test using a battery tester or a multimeter. You can try placing the battery in a device and see if it powers it up effectively. If the voltage drops significantly or the battery fails to power the device, it’s time to replace it.
Most rechargeable batteries should be taken to a full charge each time you put them in the battery charger. The charge cycle for that full charge can be different based on the battery chemistry, but the manufacturer’s instruction booklets should provide a good indication of what you can expect.
Can batteries leak or become hazardous?
Yes, batteries can leak or become hazardous if not handled properly. Over time, batteries can corrode, and the chemicals inside may leak out. This can damage devices and pose a risk to human health. If you notice a leaking battery, it’s important to handle it with care, using gloves if necessary, and dispose of it following proper guidelines.
Many small batteries your devices like a watch, calculator, and other units use can be as small as a button. The button cell batteries are particularly harmful if swallowed by a young child. They also can be a hazard if caught in their windpipe. Be sure to keep all battery types out of the reach of young children!
Is it true that I should store my extra batteries in the refrigerator to help extend their life?
There is a myth floating around that you should store your batteries in the fridge. Yes, heat can reduce the life of a battery, but modern batteries have a discharge rate of only 3% per year on average, so the self-discharge is minimal. The challenge with your refrigerator for storage is the tendency for condensation in the fridge that can adversely affect anything stored there. You can put them in a sealed plastic bag, but you’re better off just storing them at room temperature of 68 to 78 degrees F for optimal shelf life as long as the room is dry and has limited direct light from outside.
There used to be an issue with rechargeable batteries being “drained” very quickly. Older versions of NICd (nickel-cadmium) and NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries could actually lose between 20% and 30% of their charging capacity each month when stored. More up-to-date versions of these batteries are now able to maintain approximately 85% of their full charge for up to a year when stored in a cool and dry location.
What do I need to do with my batteries when planning a trip on a commercial airplane?
There are regulations published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that stipulate any electronic devices that contain lithium ion and lithium metal batteries need to be taken on the plane in your carry-on luggage.
If you do transport them in your checked luggage they need to be turned off, not just in “stand-by mode.” They should be packed such that they can’t accidentally be turned on and secured properly so they aren’t subject to any chance for damage en route. These types of batteries have been known to overheat and actually burst into flame, so better safe than sorry by having them in the cabin area so any flareups can be quickly extinguished. Note that any of these rechargeable batteries can’t exceed 100 watt hours rating.
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Keeping batteries on hand is essential for a multitude of reasons. Whether it’s for everyday convenience or emergency preparedness, having a stash of batteries ensures that you are always ready to tackle any situation that comes your way. May God Bless this World, Linda