Well, here’s something we didn’t expect to see. We’ve heard before about the potential hazards of lithium batteries. They don’t tend to respond well to damage. But it’s not just physical damage that can cause issues like what you’re about to see. Lithium-based batteries have to stay within a certain range of temperatures or bad things can be the result.
It’s not just temperatures. Lithium batteries contain sophisticated electronics to communicate with the devices that use them. That’s because the chemical reactions that make lithium batteries so awesome require the batteries to maintain a minimum level of charge. If they don’t, the devices have to respond with a very careful “trickle” charge or risk catastrophe or, at least, a completely useless battery.
We’re not sure exactly what led to the occurrence that was shared far and wide by the New York Police Department’s 33rd Precinct on February 15th, but we’re glad nobody was hurt when it went down!
It’s likely that the conflagration was the result of the phone being covered with a pillow.
At least, that’s where the fire started. Sandwiched between sheets and a fluffy white pillow, which not only might have helped cause the issue but provided plenty of readily combustible material for the fire.
If you check your owner’s manual, you might even see a word of warning on this matter.
Pillows and bedding are great insulators. That’s why we have them! To keep us warm. But keeping your phone warm isn’t such a good idea. The phone is designed to dissipate heat properly when it’s on a hard, non-insulating surface.
So, next time you’re thinking of dozing off with your phone at your side, do the smart thing and place it on the nightstand.
It won’t just keep you safer, but by keeping your battery cooler, you can extend the life of both the battery and your device. Batteries that overheat often lose their ability to hold a charge much sooner than ones that have been kept at more optimal temperatures. Sensitive electronics, too, prefer lower temps when it comes to happy, healthy operation.
This scary technology failure is quite unlikely to happen in most scenarios, but your own safety and the safety of those around you is certainly worth a little extra precaution, isn’t it?
Do you have any personal stories of near misses like this? If so, let us know!