In the last decade the uses of smart phones has reached its peak and almost everyone has one. The younger generation even has become completely dependent on their use that they use it until the last minute of being awake.
Such person was the 14-year-old Alua Asetkyzy Abzalbek from Bastobe, Kazakhstan, but for her this use became fatal as her phone exploded while sleeping. This tragic event happened when this girl went to bed with her to phone listening to music and left it on her pillow plugged into a socket. This is very common thing for many people, to leave their phone on the pillow plugged to a nearby socket.
Unfortunately, the battery of her phone was with a fault and because of that exploded thus severely injuring Alua’s head. Alua did not have a chance as the injury was so severe that she was killed instantly. Her family was devastated when they found her in the morning. They immediately called 911, but there was nothing to be done as the poor girl was already dead.
The police took all the forensic evidence and confirmed the reason for her death, the explosion of her smart phone. The death occurred early in the morning when the battery of the phone overheated from charging, and soon after exploded.
Alua had plenty of friends who really loved her. Her death was a tragic event that deeply disturbed all of them. Her best friend, Ayazhan Dolasheva, who is 15 years old, posted on social media: “I still cannot believe it. You were the best. We have been together since childhood. It is so hard for me without you. I miss you so much. You have left me forever.”
Alua’s Case is Not the Only One
There have been many cases all around the world where smartphones have exploded, fortunately in these cases people were fortunate and did not lose their lives.
An Indian guy had his phone exploded in his pocket and this incident was filmed on CCTV. For him it was a regular work day in his working place. He worked in a hardware factory along with his other colleagues when suddenly a small explosion was seen in his pants’ pocket. He instantly jumped and removed the phone from the pocket, but the phone was still smoking on the floor filling the room with smoke. All of the men left the room as quickly as possible being afraid of another explosion.
The man who had his phone in the pocket got burns on his leg, but it could have been worse if he had not removed the phone on time.
A lady in Shanghai’s Minhang district in East China also experienced an explosion of her phone. She was driving her car and had her phone on the car’s dashboard when it exploded. This was also caught on camera where we could hear the terrifying screams of this lady, imagine happening to you while driving!
Almost the same happened to another woman who had her Apple iPhone 6 attached to the dashboard. She was driving when her phone burst into flames, but she could not stop as she was in the middle of ongoing traffic. The phone stopped to burn, and she believed that was it, but again it caught fire, but now burning continuously. She managed to pull over, but she was so bewildered with this incident that she started to run and scream: “My phone exploded! My phone exploded!”
This lady prior this incident changed her battery at a mobile repair shop named as Hoho Fast. The company accepted the complaint regarding her battery and replaced it with a new one, but did not want to either repair the phone or replace it with a new one. Likewise, they refused to pay the damages done to the car.
Her husband said: “She was driving alone; no one touched the phone. It just suddenly blew up. She wasn’t charging or even using it at the time”.
In this case the phone exploded by itself. Her husband adds:
“When we bought the battery from Hoho Fast in February, they told us it was genuine. They’re refusing to take further responsibility and won’t compensate us. We asked them for a new phone. They say they can only give us a second-hand one. It’s like they’re squeezing us like a tube of toothpaste. They’ll squeeze us until we run out of patience and give up; then the case is closed for them.”
So, why do smartphones explode?
The common scientific explanation is that the major fault comes from the battery, and not from the phone. The battery has separators that prevent two electrodes from connecting. Once these separators are in some kind of defect, the electrodes can touch and cause an explosion. The electrolytes receive the needed energy, but this energy should be contained within the battery. When these electrolytes become unstable they are sensitive to heat making other chemicals to produce gas that increases heat and pressure thus triggering an explosion. This is one of the explanations why phones explode; in fact this is what happened in 2016 to Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
The batteries that are included in most phones are lithium-ion batteries, and in most cases can be overcharged safely. So, if a battery explodes, the common reason is a manufacturing fault. Yet, you need to be aware that constant overcharging of a phone can lead to bad performance of your phone.
How to protect yourself from phone explosion?
The above mentioned cases are really seldom as in all phones there are built-in safety features that prevent these sorts of accidents. Explosion can occur when a phone or its battery gets damaged and thus affect these safety features. Here are some of the possible damages:
– Damaged battery as a result of dropping
We have all dropped our phones, but if the battery becomes deformed, swollen, or constantly overheats without reason, then it is most likely that is being damaged. In these cases, make sure to replace it with a new one from a reliable mobile shop.
– Direct sunlight and hot environments
Hot temperatures can occur as a result of long phone calls, running multiple tabs, apps demanding for the CPU, charging, or as a result of a direct sunlight. When your phone sits in hot environment it can shorten battery life and may lead to an explosion.
Tips to prevent this from happening:
- Make sure to keep your phone from direct sunlight
- Avoid leaving your phone in a hot car for a long period of time
- Keep your phone dry and do not use it wet
- Remove the phone case during charging time
- You should not charge your phone in a location that traps heat like your bag
- Do not charge your phone on wrong or cheap knockoff chargers
- Do not use the battery that has punctures from an accident