The gases given off from any battery on charge, whether lead acid or alkaline type, are explosive. All battery compartments should be well ventilated to remove gasses, which are emitted while on charge.
Battery examination should never be carried out with naked lights. Care should be taken, not to do anything likely to cause a spark near the batteries on charge, since the hydrogen gas given off is a fire hazard.
Alkaline and lead acid batteries must be charged separately and must not be kept in the same room. All terminals should be examined, from time to time, to ensure that they are tight.
Metal jugs must not be used for topping-up Battery water.
Loose wires and tools must not be placed on top of the cells.
Neutralising agents should always be available, in the event of spillage – Boracic powder for alkaline batteries and household salt or washing soda for lead-acid batteries.
Protective clothing should be used, i.e. rubber gloves, rubber apron and goggles. Avoid getting any acid on your boiler-suit, while topping-up Batteries –the acid is highly corrosive. Wash with plenty of water.
Make a note of the Fire fighting appliances available near-by. A notice should be posted prohibiting, naked lights and smoking in battery compartments.
Lead Acid Batteries: Always add acid to water, and not water to acid. which could cause acid to fume. Dilute sulphuric acid is not necessarily harmful to a healthy skin, provided it is washed off, as soon as possible. A splash in the eye however, requires immediate first aid. It should be swilled with water or a diluted saline solution Immediately. (Saline solution: one level teaspoonful of household salt to V2 a pint of water).
Alkaline Batteries: As the steel cell containers are ‘live’, do not allow metal objects to rest or fall between them. The electrolyte (caustic potash) is corrosive and should be handled with care. It should not be allowed to come into contract with the skin or clothing.
In the case of burns, immediately cover them with boracic powder or a saturated solution of boracic powder. First aid for the eyes – wash out with clean water followed by a solution of boracic powder – one teaspoonful to a pint of water.
When mixing electrolyte from solid material. it is advisable to wear protective goggles, rubber gloves and apron. Never put the acids, from lead acid batteries, into an alkaline battery, as this will completely destroy it.
Gas-tight type lighting fittings should be used for illuminating the battery room