Research + Tech

Tips for longer, safer power tool battery life

The Power Tool Institute Inc., Cleveland, has identified steps users can take to care for and maintain power tools and their batteries to keep them operating safely at peak performance for a longer life cycle.

Before operating a new power tool, read the manufacturer’s instruction manual and only use the system components—tool, battery and charger—from the same manufacturer. Use a power tool’s battery solely for the defined purpose as specified by the manufacturer.

During a power tool’s life cycle, regularly inspect its battery for signs of damage such as crushing, cuts or punctures. Be mindful of abnormal battery behavior, such as failure to fully charge or hold a charge, longer-than-usual charging times, noticeable drop in performance, liquid leakage from the battery or melted plastic anywhere on the pack. These are indications of an internal problem. Discontinue use if a battery has received a sharp blow, been dropped or is damaged.

Never tamper with a power tool’s battery. As a general practice, it is best to unplug battery chargers and remove battery packs from them when not in use. Do not store batteries on their chargers. Always use and store a battery within the temperature limits stated by the manufacturer. Do not store in a closed location where sunlight may cause elevated temperatures, such as near a window or inside a vehicle.

Immediate action is required if a battery is exhibiting signs of overheating such as flames, smoke, smoldering or melting. If the battery is connected to a charger, unplug the charger first. Pour copious amounts of water on the battery and then submerge the battery in a sturdy container filled with water. When transferring the battery, avoid direct contact with the battery and use appropriate personal protective equipment to protect face, hands and body. Contact the manufacturer for guidance regarding proper battery disposal.

Additional information about power tool and battery maintenance and safety is available at

Construction is the most-targeted industry for ransomware attacks

New desk research by NordLocker, Panama City, shows construction is the No. 1 industry hit by ransomware, according to

An analysis of 1,200 companies globally that were hit by cyber extortion between 2020 and 2021 revealed where ransomware is the most widespread. Of 35 identified industries, the highest number of ransomware attacks occurred in the construction sector.

The 93 companies affected in the construction industry range in size from small family-owned businesses to large businesses consulting on billion-dollar projects. Construction could be attractive to cybercriminals because of the industry’s time-sensitive processes.

“The reputation of firms in this industry is largely built upon on-time service delivery, which is at risk during any delays caused by ransomware attacks,” says Oliver Noble, a cybersecurity expert at NordLocker. “This factor, together with the industry’s razor-thin profit margins, provides the ransomware groups with conditions that make a payout more likely.”

Noble offers the following cybersecurity tactics to help protect your business.

  • Ensure your employees use strong, unique passwords and encourage implementation of multifactor authentication.
  • Secure your email by training staff to identify signs of phishing, especially when an email contains attachments and links.
  • Implement and enforce periodic data backup and restoration processes.
  • Adopt zero-trust network access—every access request to digital resources by a staff member should be granted only after his or her identity has been appropriately verified.


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