Myth or Truth: Can Cellphones Explode?


    The first of such stories appeared in 2007 when a man was injured and killed by his exploding cellphone. The latest report was earlier this year, wherein two separate incidents, exploding cell phones seriously injured a 9-year-old boy in India, and a 21-year-old man in the United Kingdom. 

Is this myth or truth? 

                 Turns out, it’s true but it’s very rare.

  • What Do We Know?
      Reports of cell phone explosions are usually caused by a battery in the cell phone. When Lithium-ion battery is physically damaged, overcharged or overheated, it could catch fire or explode. If there is a short in the electrical circuitry, the battery could also overcharge, overheat, and catch fire or explode as well.
  
  • What Can We Do To Prevent This Risk?                                                                                    
1. Don’t leave your phone or battery in extremely hot or extremely cold places. Too hot and your phone’s battery could run the risk of overheating and exploding. Too cold and you could cause plating of the lithium on your battery and lead to battery failure. Again, according to Battery University, “Consumer-grade lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged below 0°C (32°F). Although the packs appear to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium occurs. The plating is permanent and cannot be removed.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 2. Don’t use off-brand batteries that aren’t provided by your cell phone brand. Off-brand, third-party batteries usually have lower prices but also lower safety standards, shorter battery life, and don’t provide the same safety and compatibility guarantees. According to Battery University, “To prevent the infiltration of unsafe [battery] packs on the market, most manufacturers sell lithium-ion cells only to approved battery pack assemblers.”                                                                                                                                                                                    
 3. Another good point to follow is to replace your battery with a new one purchased from your cellphone manufacturer if ever you notice your battery feeling quite hot.                                                                                                                                                                                               
 4. Don’t physically damage your cellphone’s battery. Hitting your phone with a hammer, stabbing it with a knife, microwaving it, shooting it with a gun, or destroying it in another way, will cause it to explode.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
 Again, explosions do happen but they are extremely rare because mobile manufacturers do put their products under rigorous testing and public agencies like "UL" closely monitor the safety standards of mobile devices. In fact, chances of this happening are lower than that of you being struck by lightning!        

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