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Consumer Tech That Blew Up in Flames: Photos
By Alyssa Danigelis,
Seeker, 23 September 2016.

As consumer tech surges into the future, some products are better known for leaving scorch marks rather than benchmarks.

1. Smartphones

Credit: Crushader/Imgur

A very rare manufacturing error caused issues with the battery cells in Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. Soon after photos and stories of exploding devices emerged in September, Samsung issued a voluntary safety recall and exchange. The overheating issue also prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to remind passengers that it's illegal to bring recalled devices on a plane. To find out about other electronic devices known to pose fire hazards, check the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission site.

2. Baby Monitors

Credit: Lorex

Recalls have been issued for baby monitors with cords that could strangle infants and toddlers, but the batteries inside them can also be dangerous. In July 2016, the security system company Lorex recalled 34,000 Care 'N' Share video baby monitors. The blue lithium polymer battery inside got too hot, expanded, and popped the plastic cover off, creating a burn hazard.

3. Wearables

Credit: Basis

Smart watches are supposed to be helpful while you burn calories, not your actual wrist. This summer, the Intel-owned company Basis recalled its Peak watches after receiving reports of customers getting blisters or burns under the wearable. Some watches even melted the charging cradles. Engadget's Daniel Cooper bemoaned the loss, praising the watch's long battery life and calling the Basis Peak "the best wearable you've never heard of."

4. Laptops

Credit: Stewart Butterfield/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Laptop batteries overheating is nothing new. This has been been happening to various computers for well over a decade, but that doesn't make the periodic recalls any less terrifying. After all, this is a device that literally goes on your lap. Sony had to recall more than 1,700 VAIO laptop computer battery packs last June because of fire hazards.

Advice on dealing with a bulging, hissing or overheating lithium-ion battery varies, but the educational site Battery University sponsored by Cadex Electronics suggests moving it away from flammables, ideally outside. Avoid touching a smoking or flaming device. For a small electronics fire, use a foam extinguisher.

5. Hoverboards

Credit: Alex Gulchuk/YouTube screenshot

"It's smoking, dog. Get the fire extinguisher, brah!" While some YouTube videos showing hoverboards exploding might have been staged, the fire hazard these self-balancing scooters posed was all too real. The lithium-ion battery pack could overheat to the point where the thing would be consumed by flames and release clouds of smoke.

Hoverboard fires actually caused more than US$2 million worth of damage in the United States and the danger prompted 10 companies to issue a massive recall, according to Consumer Reports.

Top gif image: Hoverboard explosion. Credit: Image created from Alex Gulchuk/YouTube.

[Source: Seeker. Edited. Top image added.]