How does a battery work? Why won’t my car start? What should I consider when buying a battery? The Anatomy of a Battery Safety and Handling Cycle Capacity Comparison Powersports AGM battery fitment & filling Battery Terms, Definitions, and Glossary
← Battery Basics

Safety and handling

When fitting and handling batteries, please make sure you and your colleagues are following all the safety recommendations and advice below.

Danger of exploding batteries

Batteries contain sulphuric 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.) or CE EN166 (Europe) approved safety glasses and face shield or splashproof 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 the work area is well ventilated.

Never lean over the battery while boosting, testing or charging.

Exercise caution when working with metallic tools or conductors to prevent short circuits and sparks.

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 for safe charging:

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.

Handling battery acid

Battery acid, or electrolyte, is a solution of sulphuric acid and water that can destroy clothing and burn the skin. USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN HANDLING BATTERY ACID 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.

Further Resources & Downloads:

The right maintenance and care (PDF)

Battery testing guide (PDF)