Why Are Electronic Products Catching Fire and Blowing Up?

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has become famous for catching fire and blowing up. Airlines and transit services have even asked people not to charge or use these phones due to the risk of battery explosions. Despite the highly publicized recall of the Note 7, it is by no means the only exploding electronic device that has become the subject of embarrassing news stories.

A New Jersey college student claims an iPhone 6 exploded in his back pocket with no warning. According to the student, he was sitting in class when he felt a strong burning sensation on his leg. Within seconds, the iPhone started smoking in his pocket and quickly caught on fire. The student was able to grab the phone, throw it to the ground and kick it away. Other students looked on in shock as the phone started popping and crackling into a fiery inferno.

Another story involves an electronic cigarette battery exploding in a woman’s purse in the middle of a crowded New Jersey shopping mall. The battery blew up with such force, that people nearby thought a bomb had exploded. According to the woman, everyone ran out of the store in a panicked frenzy. See the video of the explosion for yourself!

Other people hurt by electronic cigarette and smart phone explosions have suffered third-degree burns. A California man is suing Samsung for third-degree burns he sustained after a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone exploded in his pocket. The temperature of the exploding phone was so intense that it melted his clothing to his leg.

Why Lithium-Ion Battery Explosions Cause Severe Injuries

Electronic products are blowing up because lithium-ion batteries can become unstable and undergo a thermal runaway effect. Although some cases involve improper use of these batteries, others happen due to faulty design. Thermal runaways can happen to any product that uses lithium-ion batteries, including phones, laptops, electronic cigarettes or even children’s toys.

A thermal runaway effect can cause batteries to reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is almost hot enough to melt solid aluminum! Now imagine what such high temperatures can do to clothing and exposed skin.

Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products can safely use lithium-ion batteries without causing them to overheat and explode on consumers. People can have their lives upended or ruined by third-degree burns.

The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Keefe Law Firm can help people who have suffered burn injuries caused by defective products.