Mobile devices can explode
Just when you thought nothing else could go wrong, imagine your GPS exploding, or even your cellphone. While new battery technology is more eco-friendly than older NiCad batteries, if you leave them switched on or plugged in for too long they could explode due to excess heat.
I know that this is a cause for concern when using power tools [never leave them on charge over the specified period], but it also affects other mobile appliances as well.
Crews at a US construction company were sent home after discovering fire destroyed one of their main trucks overnight. The owner determined the fire didn't start outside the truck or in even in the engine like you might expect but on the dashboard and was possibly caused by an explosion in the GPS.
"The dash is totally melted, the visor, ceiling, everything melted and burnt. We all know how hard a windshield is and you can tell by looking from outside, it actually blew it outward."
"Batteries on your car are hot all the time," says mechanic Mike Boyd. "They carry a 12 volt system on most vehicles and if something shorts out, yes it will cause a fire." He said sometimes it's the car battery itself. Other times, it's the gadgets on the inside. Boyd said typically, car chargers actually have a fuse inside. That's supposed to prevent shorts and fires but Boyd said that doesn't always work. The key is to unplug everything all the time. This also applies to stuff like laptops and home electronics.
"If it doesn't blow a protected circuit or fuse, then you're going to have a fire in your car," Boyd said.
The truck owner called Garmin and a company spokesman released the statement that: "Garmin takes this matter seriously and is looking into the alleged incident. We look forward to discussing the matter."
Texas resident Aron Embry claims that his brand-new Droid 2 exploded. Usually, when cell phones explode (and yes, they do explode from time to time), they're in a pocket where heat is easily trapped. Embry claims he was talking on his phone when it popped, leaving him with a wound on his ear that required four stitches. Although he claims he didn't feel any pain, when he realized he was bleeding, he rushed to meet his wife Kara, who initially thought Aron had been in a car accident. Kara took photos to document the damage, and then called 911. Apparently Embry suffered no hearing loss, and his phone, despite looking a little broken, still works.
Motorola will help cover the costs of his emergency room visit and the company said it's currently investigating the claim.
Whether these cases are the cause of faulty or hot batteries or not, the possibility still exists that batteries can and do explode from time to time. Definitely something we should be aware of.
[ via switched.com ]