Sentinel Handbook

Tips for security, safety, and crime prevention volunteers

The Importance of Batteries On Patrol

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A recent incident at work made a simple problem into a huge headache. A set of cold AA batteries in a flashlight, as well as a cold cellphone battery, left one of my co-workers stranded in the dark and out of communications range. Both problems could have been avoided with a little knowledge and foresight. Cold batteries do not die in cold weather, rather the chemical reactions inside of them necessary for discharging power are inhibited.

One solution is to take the batteries out and warm them using body heat, or other low heat non-flame source. Never use a direct high temperature heat source, or flames, to warm batteries as this can damage the batteries and make them unsafe. Do not replace cold batteries with fresh (and equally cold) new batteries. If you need to keep your battery operated devices warm, you can slip one or two hand warmers into a pocket, or into a small insulated cooler/lunch pail.

If you have gear that needs to be kept warm, but isn’t regularly carried, or worn, keep the gear in an insulated Go-Bag, and leave the bag in your office or vehicle. Remember to take your Go-Bag home with you at the end of shift so your equipment isn’t left unused in freezing temperatures.

For convenience, try to get all of your equipment to use only AA batteries. This makes it easier for you rather than carrying two or three different sized sets of batteries. It also allows you to swap out batteries between pieces of equipment if needed. There are cellphone chargers that use AA batteries, allowing you to still use your phone should its battery stop working.


Written by Silver Sentinel

January 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm

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