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13 Batteries Than Can Save Your Life with the remote control or merrily pedalling on the electric bike: batteries make our lives a whole lot easier. But they can also make the difference between life and death ...

1. The “black” boxes in a plane

black box plainEvery plane has 2 black boxes on board: one that stores flight data and one that records the conversations in the cockpit. In fact, flight recorders are not black at all, but usually orange or yellow. That way, they can be spotted more easily after an accident. After a crash, the boxes emit a signal for around 30 days. This is made possible by a built-in battery. In this way, rescue workers can find its exact location.


2. Gas, smoke and CO detectors instead of canaries

gas, smoke and CO detectorsThese detectors set off an alarm in case of frequent dangers such as an oxygen shortage, smoke development or carbon monoxide. The current version of the “canary in the coal mine”, in other words, but in this case fed by batteries instead of seeds and nuts. According to figures from the government, there are around 10,000 fires in buildings in Belgium each year. Nearly 80% of deaths from fire are the result of home fires. Smoke detectors can therefore prevent many calamities. In spaces where a wood stove or the central heating boiler is housed, it is a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector as well. Is your alarm beeping because the battery is dead? Bring it to one of the thousands of collection points.

3. Special mobile phones for our emergency services

special mobile phonesThe emergency services in our country do not communicate with each other over the regular mobile phone network. Instead, they do so via ASTRID, a separate and secured radio network. That comes in handy in emergency situations, for example, if the regular mobile phone network goes down. And because the emergency services naturally do not want others to be able to listen in on their conversations. The security staff of embassies, for example, often communicate via this network as well. Only special so-called TETRA devices can operate on the network. To be able to use the network, you have to request a special licence from ASTRID. What those phones have in common with yours is that they run on the same types of batteries.

4. Light in the darkness, part 1

lifebuoy with light‘A shipwreck at night? With this accessory on your lifebuoy, you are easily visible in the dark. It will survive underwater (up to more than 70 metres) and gives a clear light for several hours.



5. Drone finds a drowning person

droneSome coast guards currently also use drones to find someone who is drowning. These are professional drones with special apparatus under the wings ... so these are not the ones you can find in the toy section.



6. Light in the darkness, part 2

professional flashlightsUseful in search parties. The professional flashlights used by the police or fire fighters are of course several classes brighter than the flashlight built into your smartphone. There are also explosion-proof versions and certain models come equipped with various conversion lenses. They are therefore also quite expensive. 500 euros for such a flashlight is not at all unusual. A sturdy battery ensures that the device keeps on working in extreme conditions.


7. Fire? Thermographic cameras!

thermographic cameraThermographic cameras detect heat that the naked eye cannot see. Using the intensity of the infrared radiation, the thermographic camera makes the temperature visible. Thermographic cameras help fire fighters find their way through thick smoke, enable them to assess situations better and make decisions more quickly. A thermographic camera with a power cord would not be very useful in case of a fire. Fortunately, this device also runs - you guessed it - on batteries!


8. Defibrillators: ctrl-alt-del for your heart

defibrillatorsAutomatic external defibrillators, abbreviated as AEDs, are used if someone's heart stops. A built-in lithium battery generates the electric charge that - if all goes well - restarts the heart.



9. Your heart rhythm

ecg monitorAn ECG monitor records the electrical activity of the heart muscle. An ECG gives doctors a lot of information about the working of the heart muscle, especially in case of arrhythmia. Thanks to the battery, medical staff can simply take the device along with them under their arm.



10. A look down your throat

laryngoscopeNot for use to open oysters or as a bottle opener: a laryngoscope is a medical instrument used to examine the larynx. Inside, a battery powers the examination lamp. A laryngoscope is used, for example, if a doctor places a breathing tube down the windpipe (intubation).



11. Keep on going

pacemakerBatteries can also save human lives “from the inside out”. A pacemaker is a device that assists the heart by generating tiny electrical impulses. The first pacemaker was implanted in 1958. After a few hours, the battery was already drained. Nowadays, a pacemaker's battery lasts between 5 and 15 years. After that, the pacemaker is replaced during a minor procedure.



12. GPS: locating people saves lives

GPSA GPS can help locate you more easily. Satellites that emit the GPS signal can operate day and night thanks to a built-in battery. In this way, it is the perfect combination to enable someone calling the emergency services to be located quickly and efficiently and to be rescued. 



Lastly: did you know that the following devices also contain batteries?

The batteries in your remote control and smoke detector should of course be brought back to a Bebat collection point. But what about unusual types of batteries or those that you can't just remove from your device? Find out here what exactly you can do with them.

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