An Australian man who suffered severe burns when his iPhone 6 caught fire, is now asking Apple to warn the public of the dangers.
Gareth Clear, 36, posted the pictures of his injury on Twitter, which occurred when he slipped off of his mountain bike. It is then that his phone ignited and left him needing skin graft surgery.
He told The Sydney Morning Herald: “I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket… and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain in my top right leg.”
“I could see it melting through my shorts. I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus.”
Apple is understood to be communicating directly with Mr. Clear about the incident. However, he does not blame them for the incident, but wants them to make consumers aware of the possible danger.
Scary stories like this seem to pop up all the time. But in the grand scheme of things, with billions of smartphone users worldwide, the chances of this happening are incredibly low.
But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the issue. And nor should we start wrapping our phones in bubble wrap either.
As with all portable devices, they’re getting smaller and thinner, but there is still a demand for better battery life. And these devices now contain Lithium-ion batteries, which essentially means they are filled with electrodes storing energy.
However, should the battery become damaged, used improperly, or allowed to overheat, it could very well catch fire and explode. And in this instance, the physical impact on the phone (and battery) is what likely caused this incident.
The advice has always been to not keep phones in our pockets.
When it comes to ensuring you’re not a victim of a similar incident, then you should ensure that you only use genuine products. They may be more expensive, but that way you know they are tested and built to the highest standards.
Buying cheaper replacement batteries and phone chargers are other common causes of mobile-related fires due to overheating. Plus, a third-party battery will probably have a worse battery life anyway.
Strict regulations are in place to ensure consistency in the safety of our mobile devices. And that makes incidents like this a rare occurrence.
If you do experience a fire like this, then you must get yourself a safe distance away from the device as possible. Should the device be charging, turn the power off immediately and you can fight it like an ordinary fire using a nearby extinguisher.
However, if the item on fire has an electrical charge, then it is only safe to use a CO extinguisher. Otherwise, you risk electrocution.
Although, the fire extinguisher of choice for a fire involving a lithium-ion battery, such as those found in an iPhone, is the new Lith-Ex fire extinguisher. Designed specifically for these types of fires, it’s the only fire extinguisher which is fully effective.
If in doubt, get everyone to safety and dial 999.
But remember, our phones are safe to use. So keep texting, tweeting and catching those Pokémon.