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Could Your Notebook Computer Start a Fire?

By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Notebook computers are now a part of modern life. They can be found in offices, schools and homes across the country. There are tens of millions of portable computers in use. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of at least 47 incidents involving smoke or fire associated with notebook computers, from January 2001 through August 2006. To promote safe use of notebook computers, batteries and chargers, CPSC offers the following tips:

  • Do not use incompatible computer batteries and chargers. If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible, contact the product manufacturer.

     

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  • Do not use your computer on your lap. Computer batteries can get hot during normal use.

  • Do not use your computer on soft surfaces, such as a sofa, bed or carpet, because it can restrict airflow and cause overheating.

  • Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.

  • Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.

  • Avoid dropping or bumping the computer. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the computer and battery. If you suspect damage contact the manufacturer.

  • Do not place the computer in areas that may get very hot.

  • Do not get your computer or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.

  • Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user’s guide.

 

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Could Your Notebook Computer Start a Fire?:  Created on February 19th, 2007.  Last Modified on October 16th, 2009

 

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About CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products — such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals — contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

 

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.asp. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

 

 

Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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