It appears the cases of the Apple iPhone’s catching fire and exploding have not ceased. Recently, a 13-year-old student suffered minor burns after being scalded by her iPhone 5C. Jeff Rodman, Principal of Kennebunk Middle School in Maine, stated witnesses reported hearing a pop and smoke began emitting from the teen’s pants. The iPhone 5C had been in her back pocket when it began to explode.
Classmates rushed to the aid of the young girl and she smartly took to the ground to roll, the iPhone 5C spilling from her pocket. School faculty rushed upon the cries of the students and brought a fire blanket and extinguisher. The student was rushed to the Southern Maine Medical Center and treated for minor burns. Luckily, she was released to go home the same day with her family.
iPhone fires and explosions while rare, are not surprising. The 13-year-old student suffered minor burns and luckily escaped from serious injury, due to her quick thinking. Some incidents have not ended so lucky. Last year, a 23-year-old woman from China was electrocuted and died – while answering her iPhone 5 as it charged. Previously, in 2011 a passenger’s iPhone 4 became a threat on a Regional Express flight to Australia. The passenger’s phone not only emitted smoke but was glowing red. It appears in that case a battery screw had loosened and punctured the lithium battery casing.
It is important consumers understand their circuitry and factors of heat when it comes to their phones. Placing cell phones in a pocket can build heat, especially in the warmer months. This can overheat the battery and lead to instances of the device catching fire. If the phone is packed next to other metal items like keys, this could lead to potential smoke and fire. Additionally, be sure to stay away from third-party products and accessories that may not be compatible with the phone. This especially includes batteries.
The cases of explosions and harsh burns are not isolated to Apple iPhone. Reports of the Galaxy S2, Droid Bionic, Samsung Galaxy Note and Nexus have made the media circuits based on injuries. When it comes to battery replacements, consumers would be wise to contact the manufacturer directly. In a summer 2013 case, a woman was burned excessively on her thigh when her Samsung Galaxy S3 exploded. Investigators researched the phone and discovered the battery was not an original, but the company who sold it slapped a Samsung logo on it.
Another case in 2013 brought forth the warning of keeping electronics off beds, especially when preparing to go to sleep. Instances of smartphones burning through sheets and setting fire has been reported. One report stated a consumer left the phone on their bed and it caused injuries to the owner upon explosion. It appears each of the reported cases continue to be investigated by officials. When in doubt, it is best to treat a phone that can potentially become a dangerous item, with caution.
Smartphones are continually becoming more sleek and tech-heavy. Users should always store or charge in a cool place, and away from excessive heat and other metal materials. Err on the side of caution and turn the phone completely off to charge and do not use it while charging. Once the charge is complete, remove the plug safely and turn on the phone.
The injuries reported, including the recent story of a teen student shows how dangerous technology can be when not handled properly. While the student is now safe away from the smoke and explosion of her Apple iPhone 5C, it reminds consumers to always stay alert while using their phones. The worst case reported was that of an Galaxy S4 that burned down a Hong Kong man’s apartment when it exploded, as he was gaming on it. The man stated the phone had been plugged into the charger when he decided to play a game on the device. These stories remind each smartphone consumer to put the phone down and allow it to cool down, charge and properly handle.
[Update]: Reports from a source indicate the battery exploded – information is still being confirmed by the local Fire Marshall, as the investigation continues. The room, per a teacher where the student was located had so much smoke, windows were opened to air the room. The girls pants were removed and multiple burn holes were witnessed.