To the editor:
I want to thank Linda Shaffer for her recent “Talkin’ Trash” column in The Lincoln County News, “Avoiding household battery fires.” I admit that I was unaware of this fire danger.
She mentioned that, in April 2011, a man accidentally burned down the family home with nothing but a few nine-volt batteries. If he had covered the terminals with electrical tape or masking tape, he could have avoided the tragedy. I’m so sorry for his loss.
After reading the warning, I cut it out of the paper. I’m president of the Medomak Valley Senior Citizens in Waldoboro. When we open in April, I plan to read it to the seniors.
The seniors group was organized years ago. It gives seniors an opportunity to get out and socialize, play bingo, etc. But most importantly, to learn about keeping safe in our homes. We have had the police department and the sheriff’s office come and talk to us about scams and things to be aware of. We also have had the fire department talk to us about fire safety. They mention smoke alarms, carbon-monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. For my recollection, I’ve never read any mention of how to dispose batteries. I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t think that was important to mention.
As we spring ahead, we will soon be changing our batteries. I hope everyone will cover their terminals with electrical or masking tape and place them in a Ziploc bag, then place them on top of your recycled materials so the driver who picks up your trash will see them. He will know where to put them.
I had a problem with my flashlight the other night. It was flickering and fading out. So I decided I’d better put new batteries in. The next morning, I taped them and a few loose AA batteries in the bottom of my container. They may have been fine, but I’m not taking chances. Now that I know what to do, it takes little effort to do this, but is so worth it.
I’m a great believer in prevention, and I hope you are too.
Thanks again, Linda Shaffer, for the warning. Keep safe!