Generally speaking, technology is made to be safe. No producer in the world wants their product to explode in its user’s face, if not because of their good heart then because things like that usually make the sales drop bigtime. Still, electronics are complicated devices, and smartphones are not an exception. Being a relatively rare occurence, smartphones catching on fire became a thing a few months ago, during the infamous Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco (long story short, a whole line of phones turned out to be prone to exploding, with quite a number of people getting burns and/or their property damaged). I have figured that, if your phone might can on fire, you better know what to do when it does and, therefore, composed this little guide to help you out When The Worst Happens.
1. The warning signs. Paraphrasing an infamous Polish clergyman, ”If your smartphone warms up too much, and gets actually hot, and when a lump bulges its back cover as the battery swollens… know that something is amiss”. In essence, if your phone becomes too warm too touch and gets strangely misshapen, it means that it is overheating and might explode any minute.
2. Alright, so your phone is burning or about to burn. What to do?
– pick the poor thing up, preferably using tongs, something similiar or at least having your hands gloved,
– turn it off, so the battery has a chance to cool off before going up in flames,
– carefully move the device to an isolated area where it cannot burn anything (a metal bucket, or empty concrete floor),
– contact your retail store/carrier for further instructions (they will probably want you to mail the thing to them, and you will probably want to talk about a replacement phone),
– if the device actually explodes, PUT THE FIRE OUT A.S.A.P! Fire extinguisher would be best, but sand or baking soda will also do; worst case scenario, stomp it with a thick boot or throw into the sink and pour water onto it (not recommended, but better than staring at burning heap of plastic in your apartment). Remember to cover your nose and mouth; fumes from burning smartphone are pretty toxic.
And that, thankfully, is it. Next time your smartphone will decide to up and explode – hopefully never – you will know what to do. Good luck!