Smartphone fires: The Do’s and Don’ts In that Scary Situation

Considering the fact that we are surrounded by electronic gadgets at every step of our life nowadays and the fact that most of them use battery power to operate, we must be cautious about our safety as batteries in electronic gadgets like smartphones, tablets, hoverboards, laptops and the likes have been known to overheat, cause issues and in extreme cases burst into flames.

Although these cases are not extremely common, statistics say that 1 in 10 million lithium-ion battery cells (that are used to power most electronic gadgets) are likely to go bad. Electronic companies prefer using lithium- ion batteries due to the various advantages they come with, such as- being cost effective, packing plenty of power and lasting long when the device is in its idle state.

There are several reasons behind batteries malfunctioning but users need to keep in mind the warning signs and look for them in order to ensure their own safety. The device getting extremely hot and/or there’s swelling in the battery, or leakage in the battery and the device catching fire are signs that users should keep an eye out for. This is important because Lithium ion Batteries contain harmful chemicals that may harm a person’s skin if it comes in contact and may cause damage to other properties in and around as well.

Smartphone fires: The Do's and Don'ts In that Scary Situation

Smartphone fires:  What to do if your device Shows the signs

  • Avoid touching the device with bare hands and instead, use tools (like a pair of tongs) or gloved hands to touch the device. Even an oven mitt or towel is better than using bare hands. Avoid breathing in fumes (if being released).
  • The device (if running) must be turned off immediately and unplugged from any power source.
  • Try not to jostle the combustive parts together by moving in a steady manner.
  • Keep the device in an away from flammable materials (preferably isolating it) is a good idea.
  • Get in touch with the authorised service centre and asking for further instructions.

Smartphone fires:  Samsung’s Case

There have been multiple cases of device battery malfunctions. One very prominent example is that of Korean Tech giant Samsung. The infamous Galaxy Note 7 explosion stories don’t need to be explained. Despite Samsung trying to address the issue (which as research says, was a design flaw) by recalling all the devices and replacing the batteries, things didn’t seem to go well from them. Apart from all the negative PR they had to face for putting people’s lives at risk, the devices that they had replaced the batteries in started exploding and catching fire again. The device was ultimately recalled and scraped from their line up.

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Harsha Mazumdar

Student. Avid Traveller.

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