Battery Safety Precautions

DANGER OF EXPLODING BATTERIES

S.L.I. batteries contain sulfuric acid and produce explosive mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen. Because self-discharge action generates hydrogen gas even when the battery is not in operation, make sure batteries are stored and worked on in a well ventilated area. ALWAYS wear ANSI Z87.1 (U.S. standard) approved safety glasses and face shield or splash proof goggles when working on or near batteries:

    • Always 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. (See Fig. 1 for the acceptable wording and symbols currently used on vent caps.)
    • Keep removable vents tight and level except when servicing electrolyte.
    • Make sure work area is well ventilated.
    • Never lean over battery while boosting, testing or charging.
    • Exercise caution when working with metallic tools or conductors to prevent short circuits and sparks.
    • Always read and follow all precautionary labels on the product

SAFE CHARGING

Never attempt to charge a battery without first reviewing the instructions for the charger being used. In addition to the charger manufacturer’s instructions, these general precautions should be followed:

    • Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection.
    • Always charge batteries in a well-ventilated area.
    • Keep vents tight and level.
    • Turn the charger and timer “OFF” before connecting the leads to the battery to avoid dangerous sparks.
    • Never try to charge a visibly damaged or frozen battery.

Connect the charger leads to the battery; red positive (+) lead to the positive (+) terminal and black negative (-) lead to the negative (-) terminal. If the battery is still in the vehicle, connect the negative lead to the engine block to serve as a ground. Be sure the ignition and all electrical accessories are turned off. (If the vehicle has a positive ground, connect the positive lead to the engine block.)

    • Make sure that the charger leads to the battery are not broken, frayed or loose.
    • Set the timer, turn the charger on and slowly increase the charging rate until the desired ampere value is reached.
    • If the battery becomes hot, or if violent gassing or spewing of electrolyte occurs, reduce the charging rate or turn off the charger temporarily.
    • Always turn the charger “OFF” before removing charger leads from the battery to avoid dangerous sparks.
    • Always read and follow all precautionary labels on the product

Battery acid, or electrolyte, is a solution of sulfuric acid and water that can destroy clothing and burn the skin. Use extreme caution when handling electrolyte and keep an acid neutralizing solution - such as baking soda or household ammonia mixed with water - readily available. When handling batteries:

    • Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection.
    • If the electrolyte is splashed into an eye, immediately force the eye open and flood it with clean, cool water for at least 15 minutes. Get prompt medical attention.
    • If electrolyte is taken internally, drink large quantities of water or milk. DO NOT induce vomiting. Get prompt medical attention.
    • Neutralize with baking soda any electrolyte that spills on a vehicle or in the work area. After neutralizing, rinse contaminated area clean with water.

To prepare electrolyte of a specific gravity, always pour the concentrated acid slowly into the water; DO NOT pour water into the acid. Always stir the water while adding small amounts of acid. If noticeable heat develops, allow the solution to cool before continuing to add acid.