Thursday, August 1, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Burns House Down

Lithium ion batteries are volatile. It's a sad truth, but these things store so much energy they can eventually pop, burst, burn, or explode. Normally, they're quite safe, but if there's a fluctuation in voltage or heat, or they're physically damaged, they can ignite. Every once in a while, this happens, and it makes the news. But this time, the explosion was an example of a worst case scenario, and deserves mentioning. This time, a Samsung Galaxy S4 ignited, and burned down
a man's house.

The man, named by the media only as "Du", was playing a game on his S4 when he heard it make a loud popping noise. The loud noise startled him, causing him to throw the phone across the room. Unfortunately, it went under his couch, where it quickly engulfed his furniture in flames. It wasn't long before his home in Hong Kong had burned to the ground. Du was apparently playing a simple game, not even running a benchmark, and claims he was only using official Samsung parts.

There have actually been an alarming number of fires originating from Samsung phones. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a new phone this year, and yet this isn't even the first case of it exploding. The previous generations of the Galaxy phone had plenty of issues with fire as well. One could chalk it up to all lithium ion batteries having such issues, or they can say that this happens to Samsung phones more frequently than most.

I automatically question any report coming out of China. Still, cell phone battery fires, especially for Samsung, happen frequently enough that I don't doubt the validity of this. Now, had the reports claimed that the plastic Samsung phones were electrocuting people, I'd be a bit more suspicious. Unfortunately, this happens often.

Just a reminder, you should have a fire extinguisher in your home or apartment, and if your phone is starting to spark, don't throw it under something flammable. While the victim of this story lost his home and everything in it, he at least survived the ordeal without serious injury. Not all people with exploding devices are that lucky.
 Source: Apple's Cloud

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