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Battery Safety

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Page 0 of 2 Lead-acid batteries are built with a number of individual cells containing layers of lead plates immersed in sulphuric acid. When the sulphuric acid comes into contact with the lead plate, energy is produced. The battery will have a negative and a positive terminal on the top or side of the battery, and will have vent caps on top. The purpose of the vent caps is to allow for the escape of gases formed when the battery is charging. In addition, the vent caps allow water and acid levels of the battery to be checked during maintenance. Lead-acid batteries can produce explosive mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are being charged. If ventilation is poor, the escaping hydrogen creates an explosive atmosphere around the battery. Always keep sparks, flames, burning cigarettes, and other sources of ignition away from the battery recharging area because the gas can be ignited. The result of an explosion could be severe burns and/or fire. General Safety when working with Batteries When working with batteries it is very important to know where the deluge showers and eyewash stations are located. In addition, knowing proper first aid treatment for dealing with acid splashes is also essential. Acid neutralizing bottles can be purchased from local first aid companies, which can be used to allow you to reach the deluge shower or eye wash. The following are some useful practices when working with batteries: Keep metal tools and jewellery away from batteries (to prevent short circuits) When handling batteries, make sure that metal objects do not fall across the terminals Inspect the battery for any defective cables, corroded cable connectors, corroded/ broken battery terminals, cracked cases or covers, etc. Always use the proper wrench size when tightening cable clamp nuts Do not use excessive force when tightening connections to the battery terminals Battery Safety

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