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Phones on Fire? Exploding Computers? Are Your Gadgets Safe?

By Edited Dec 14, 2015 0 0

Gadgets Exploding!

It's not just printers that are in danger of blowing up these days, a series of recent news reports on exploding phones have got some people worried. As many of us carry phones with us nearly everywhere we go, the prospect of a phone catching on fire in her pocket is scary! The problem seems to be coming from smart phones; as the energy needs of the phones increase the battery power must also rise. This leads to the possibility of a malfunction in the battery with larger results than in the past.

 Samsung Galaxy S II Catches Fire

The latest phone to make news headlines for starting to smolder was the Samsung Galaxy S II. According to the man who owned the phone, it caught fire while in his pocket. He “heard a sound… a burning sensation on his leg and as he pulled this [phone] out of his pocket he smelled burning… there was smoke coming out of his pocket and the phone.” Additionally, the phone was not an old one (which would be more likely to have defects due to wear) but was barely 2 weeks old! In photos submitted to XDA Developers, a section of the battery casing and enclosure is melted and there is some damage to the SIM card port.

Samsung Galaxy S II Catches fire
Credit: XDA Developers

 

iPhone Explodes on Airplane:
However it's not just the Samsung Galaxy that is catching the news in fiery headlines; Australian Aviation reports that an iPhone 4 caught fire on Monday, November 25, 2011 during a flight from Lismore to Sydney. According to the airline report the phone “started admitting a significant amount of dense smoke, accompanied by a red glow” before being extinguished by a flight attendant who luckily was handy with a fire extinguisher. The airline industry has mentioned issues with batteries, particularly lithium ion batteries, in the past but this seems to be the first time that phone batteries have caused a problem on an aircraft. The airline is investigating what happened and if the aircraft affected the phone

 

Iphone Catches Fire on Plane

 

At Least 45 Laptops Have Caught Fire:
This recent spate of phone fires comes a few years after the news of exploding laptops. According to Gizmodo.com there have been over 45 reported incidences of seemingly spontaneous laptop fires in the past several years. In 2006, Apple was forced to issue a recall of MacBook pros due to these concerns. PCs were also at risk, as the Inquirer reported on a Dell laptop exploding during a Japanese conference.

 

Dell Laptop Explodes

Your Can Relax:

While all of these issues may be concerning, it is important to remember that with the millions of phones in the world today, it is almost inevitable that there will be issues with a very few. While it's important to pay attention to product recalls and other official announcements, the percentage of people who are affected by this problems is tiny. Hopefully phone manufacturers will learn from these issues and make phones safer and better than other.

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Bibliography

  1. "SGS II SGH-I727 Exploded in Pocket." XDA Developers. 5/12/2011 <Web >
  2. "Apple iPhone spontaneously combusts aboard flight in Australia." BGR. 5/12/2011 <Web >
  3. "iBook in Flames, Film at 11." Gizmodo. 5/12/2011 <Web >

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