Don’t Want Your Phone to Blow Up? Follow These 6 Pieces of Expert Advice
(Andrée-Noëlle Pot/Le Matin via Huffington Post)
We recently covered the story of a young Texas girl’s Samsung Galaxy smartphone incinerating near her head as she slept. Her phone was ruined, but the fire didn’t spread beyond the underside of her pillow, so she and her family were not harmed.
Of course, not all chargeable electronics fires end without injury (see: this smartphone battery that exploded in a Florida gym, causing facial burns to one woman).
Obviously, these are extraordinary circumstances. Your smartphone isn’t just going to up and explode on you in 99 percent of scenarios.
Still, we were curious as to what you, dear reader, could do to prevent similar smartphone combustion. And so we talked to the device experts at iFix, a New York-based gadget repair service.
Here’s the advice iFix gave to avoid battery meltdown and smartphone explosion:
1. Stay away from low-quality batteries.
One of the potential issues pointed out with the Samsung Galaxy S4 that caught fire in Texas was that the phone’s battery was swapped for an aftermarket model. The iFix crew says low-grade smartphone batteries can be a bad idea because, in terms of quality and care in construction, “they do not follow the same standards as original manufacturers.”
When replacing your phone’s battery, you’ll probably want to skip the cheapest option on eBay or Amazon and instead seek out the same one with which your Samsung, HTC, or LG phone came (from what is often referred to as the “OEM,” or original equipment manufacturer).
If you must go with a third-party replacement battery, iFix considers Anker a trusted brand.
2. Keep your phone in a well-ventilated place while charging.
The second no-no with the Texas case: The charging phone was under a pillow.
Our experts’ advice: “Do not cover a charging phone with a pillow.”
For obvious reasons, this isn’t good for the goal of keeping your phone from overheating. A rule of thumb would be to place a charging phone in an area away from insulating fabrics or other heat-emitting electronics (maybe not on top of a cable box, for example).
3. If you get your phone wet, have it checked by a professional.
We all know it’s possible to bring a soggy smartphone back to a working condition, but the iFix team says that, despite your rescue attempts, corrosion or short circuiting can still occur inside the phone, undetectable to the naked eye. These conditions could lead to dangerous overheating of the device.