Mobile phone explosion
Mobile phones are treated like playthings these days; however, these flashy gadgets can also prove dangerous if not handled with care. Sometimes, the blast happens to be so bad that the victim ends up with severe disfigurement to the body or even dies. Mobile phones explode either due to being used while being charged or call bombing. Charging puts pressure on the motherboard of the phone and using it while charging increases this pressure manifold. This causes the cheap electronic components in some mobiles to explode.
Call bombing refers to calls or missed calls received from some international numbers. If one receives or calls these numbers back, and the call exceeds a certain amount of time, the phone blasts. There are bugs, or malware, found in some Android based smartphones that can also cause an explosion by exerting extra pressure on the motherboard during charging.
1. Buy a branded phone as far as possible. Ensure that the phone has a proper IMEI number (a code that identifies each phone). Check that the number on the phone corresponds to that on the box and receipt.
2. It is considered wise to check the accessories such as earphones, battery and charger. Make sure the battery description, such as voltage value, matches that of the charger to avoid over-charging, which sometimes leads to an explosion of the handset.
3. Avoid using the phone while the battery is being charged. If you need to receive a call during this time, disconnect the phone from the charger before connecting the call. Ensure that it is not over-charged by removing the electric supply when the battery is fully-charged.
4. If the battery seems to have swollen, replace it immediately.
5. Since anti-virus software for mobile phones are not as effective, it is harmful to surf the Internet or download anything on mobile phones.
6. Avoid using public or unsecured Wi-Fi connections. A hacker could access the mobile device through an unsecured port.
7. Make sure that Bluetooth connectivity is not switched-on in public places, as it can be used to send malicious files that may corrupt the operating system.
8. In case of a drenched phone, switch it off and dismantle it by removing the battery, SIM card and memory cards. Dry each component thoroughly, but gently, with a towel until the phone is dry.
Never use a hair dryer to dry the phone. This may cause important parts to melt, while forcing water further into the phone.
Flaming television sets
Although television electronics is robust and well-tested for many years for its safety, but still, with the expansion in sophisticated electronics in newly-manufactured television sets, incidents of televisions-on-fire are occasionally being reported. However, television fires are not a new problem and the US consumer product safety commission has been keeping track of TV fires since as far back as 1992.
In that year itself, there were 1400 television fires in the US, leading to the death of 20 people, with 120 injured. If fire is not controlled at the TV level, it can spread to the whole house. Televisions should never shut-off by themselves. There is an internal circuit breaker that gets activated as a safety precaution when a component is not functioning properly. In the event of a malfunction, we do not simply turn-off and then turn the television back on. If it shuts down or makes a popping sound, there could be some severe malfunction. A loud pop, followed by the set going black, is typical of a TV showing the first sign of component failure.
1. If the television shuts itself off (with or without a pop), the first thing to do is unplug the power cord.
2. The next step is to call the manufacturer’s customer service number and report the issue.
3. In case the television catches fire, put the fire out after unplugging it.
The author is a professor at Department of Physics, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology, Sangrur, Punjab