Smoke detectors save lives, but one element in them could actually burn your house down. Read on to find out how to avoid a scary mistake regarding your home's smoke alarms.
Photo credit: Nick M. Do/ E+/ Getty Images

I bet you're a responsible parent. You've baby-proofed. You've learned to read nutrition labels. You've researched preschools until your eyes crossed. And of course, you've properly installed smoke alarms and you change the batteries regularly… but what you do next could totally negate all your previous caution.

Dave, of Kids and Character, made a mistake, and that mistake caused him to lose his house to a fire. He went on to create a YouTube video detailing what he did to inadvertently set his house ablaze… you might be surprised to find you're making the same mistake.

That's right, this is another article reminding you how to dispose of batteries, but this has nothing to do with saving the planet. It's about saving your house, and possibly your life.

Most smoke alarms take nine-volt batteries, which are unique from other batteries as both the positive and negative contacts are at the same end. If you tend to throw old batteries into a drawer or bag or other confined space, those exposed contacts can simultaneously touch another battery or some other bit of metal, and that can cause a spark.

Put a piece of tape over the contacts before disposing or storing, so that they can't touch each other or anything else.

Dave did that exact thing, and a fire started in his garage which eventually consumed his entire house.

So what are we to do with batteries, if not set them aside for recycling? Tape. (It's the answer to most questions, isn't it?) Put a piece of tape over the contacts before disposing or storing, so that they can't touch each other or anything else.

This simple solution could save your home, your family, your life.

So next time your smoke detector is beeping for a new battery, be sure you grab a couple of pieces of duct tape and cover the ends. It may seem like a hassle, but it's not nearly the hassle you'd have on your hands if your house caught on fire.

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