Battery Tips for National Battery Day
Did you know that February 18 is National Battery Day?
Batteries power equipment — like smoke detectors, flashlights, cars, cellphones and more — that keep our lives running smoothly and help us stay safe during emergencies. In honor of National Battery Day, industry leader Interstate Batteries offers these battery tips.
- Automotive, commercial and marine batteries have a four- or five-digit code on the cover that tells when a battery was shipped from the manufacturer. The first digit, on the left side, is the month of the year. (“A” stands for January, “B” for February and so on.) The second digit is the year. (“9″equals 2009, “10” equals 2010.) If a battery has been recharged, a separate 2-digit code, following the same pattern, will be on the cover to indicate the last recharge. Interstate Batteries has a national policy of ensuring that batteries are recharged every three months while on the shelf to ensure their freshness. Learn more about how to read a car battery label.
- Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months; replace annually
- Remove batteries from your flashlights and store the flashlight and the batteries in the same spot; leaving the batteries in the flashlight can drain their power.
2. Follow safety procedures when changing automotive batteries or go to a professional
Wear protective eyewear, and never touch your eyes when working with a car battery. Remove all jewelry, especially watches and rings because metal jewelry can conduct energy and lead to unpleasant shocks. Wear long sleeves and gloves to protect hands and arms from potential explosions of battery acid.
Prefer to let a professional handle it? Go to interstatebatteries.com to find a dealer near you.
3. Don’t charge a frozen battery.
- Interstate’s Technical Services Manager Gale Kimbrough, aka “Mr. Battery,” recommends allowing the battery to warm to 60 degrees Fahrenheit before charging.
- Charging a frozen battery can be unsafe. If necessary, take it inside to allow it to warm up before installation.
4. Neutralize spills
Baking soda solutions will neutralize acid spills. If a spill occurs, pour the solution on the area, and rinse it thoroughly with water.
5. Prepare your home for weather emergencies or power outages
First, keep commonly used batteries on hand in an easy-to-find spot. Retail experts from Interstate All Battery Center, which offers thousands of portable power solutions, also suggest the following tools for emergency preparedness:
- Battery-powered radios
- Alternately powered cellphone chargers (car adapters, battery-operated or solar)
- A waterproof, wind-proof lighter
- Sealed lead-acid batteries and converter, for powering lamps and small coolers
- Water-resistant, battery-powered or hand-cranked flashlights
Think of any tips we might have missed? Please share yours in the comments!