Battery safety

How to safely install, use, store and dispose of batteries.

On this page


You can find batteries in many household devices and children's toys. You can use them safely by installing, using, storing and disposing of them properly. However, they contain harmful substances like acids, and can pose a risk of fire or explosion if you use them unsafely.

Health risks

Children can swallow small batteries, like button batteries, which can cause serious internal injuries and even death.

If you don't properly install, use, store and dispose of your batteries, they can cause serious injury if they:

  • overheat
  • leak
  • burst
  • catch fire and explode

Lithium-ion batteries are more volatile and can cause widespread damage and harm if not used safely. Report any battery-related injuries directly to the original manufacturer. You can report incidents to Health Canada by filling out a consumer incident form.

Learn more:

Reduce your risk

Follow these steps to help reduce the risks associated with batteries.


Only an adult should install batteries into products. Do not allow children to install batteries.

When installing alkaline batteries, line up the + sign on the battery with the + sign on the product's battery compartment. If you don't install a battery properly, it can overheat. Products containing batteries can also leak if you don't maintain them properly.

It's not safe to mix different types of batteries together. Do not mix:

  • old batteries with new ones
  • rechargeable batteries with non-rechargeable ones


Read and follow instructions on battery packaging. Buy your batteries from a trusted source.

Don't let children handle batteries or take battery-operated items to bed. Burns and other injuries can occur if the batteries leak or overheat during the night.

Don't try to recharge batteries that are not rechargeable.

Use the proper charger for the battery type.

Don't modify or repair devices with batteries unless recommended by the manufacturer.


Store batteries safely to reduce the risk of fires or explosions. These can happen if both terminals come into contact with metal at the same time. Keep batteries:

  • away from metal, like coins or keys
  • out of your pockets, purses and bags

Store batteries:

  • away from:
    • household chemicals
    • heat or direct sunlight
    • medicine and food, to prevent swallowing
  • at room temperature
  • in their original packaging
  • out of children's reach and sight
  • in a well-ventilated, dry, secure place

Remove and safely store batteries from devices that you won't use for a long time, such as seasonal decorations or old toys.


Dispose of your used batteries according to local municipal hazardous waste requirements. It's not safe to put batteries in household garbage.

When you bring batteries to a drop-off centre, cover their terminals with non-conductive tape, like electrical tape.

Do not toss batteries into a fire. They might burst or explode.

Make sure children can't access old batteries that you need to dispose of. Used batteries can still pose health risks and cause serious or fatal injuries.

Related links

Page details

Date modified: