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Battery safety bungles, blunders, and boo-boos

Even when they're not exploding, batteries are dangerous things. Proceed with extreme caution! Who would have thought that by merely dropping a remote control, you're at risk?

Steve Guttenberg

Exploding batteries make headlines, but they're just the tip of the iceberg. If you've read owner's manuals, as I do, you see danger lurking everywhere. A couple examples:

"When not using remote controls, remove batteries. Do not take battery apart, heat it, or throw into fire." Curious kids do that kind of stuff all the time (I did), and the fine print in the owner's manual won't deter them. I suppose that the warnings are in there for legal reasons.

"Do not subject remote control to undue physical stress, such as striking it or dropping it." Wow, who would have thought that by merely dropping a remote, you're at risk. I guess that those of us with bare wood or tiled floors are living dangerously. Heed all warnings!

I haven't yet seen the next warnings in any manual, but it's just a matter of time before they appear.

"Do not put the battery in your mouth or swallow it." That's just common sense, but the tingling sensation of a few volts zapping your insides may...don't do it!

"Do not sit on batteries, and if you do, be aware that flatulence may pose additional risks." Of course.

"Take all precautions. Avoid sleeping with exposed batteries in your bed. Lithium batteries can discharge quickly and have a high energy storage capacity. They can be especially dangerous if they become lodged in armpits or between your toes." Makes sense to me.

"Don't store extra batteries in your hat. Bald persons' exposure to batteries carries additional risks." Shoot.

"Do not store batteries near heat sources such as radiators, stoves, microwave ovens, or the surface of the sun." This one isn't so easy to follow.

Has your Kindle ever kindled and burst into flames?

Do you have any battery horror stories to share with us?