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How to prevent your laptop battery from exploding

Laptop battery explosions are a rare phenomenon, but they can still happen to any user. Learn how to prevent this and safely your device

laptop usb port with electric spark coming out from it
Image: KnowTechie

Laptops’ portability introduced a new kind of convenience for tech consumers. However, just like other battery-operated devices, it comes with its drawbacks and risks. You might have come across news of a laptop battery exploding, and though it’s rare, it happens. In some cases, the manufacturers are at fault for these types of accidents. 

In 2017, a New Zealand couple lost their lodge due to a Dell laptop fire. Aside from putting their lives at risk, the property was valued at 2 million dollars. Hence, they filed a lawsuit against the company. If you are keen to learn more about consumer rights, Schmidt & Clark details probable scenarios of product liability lawsuits.

A laptop battery “explosion” does not happen as explosively as one would expect. It only starts as a fire, but can still inflict serious harm to its user. Apart from manufacturing defects, it can be caused by a few things. One is by thermal runaway or the battery overheating from your usual usage.

Exposure to external heat can also affect and increase the likelihood of damage. So how should you take care of your laptop battery to prevent an explosion?

Research

If you’re just about to purchase a laptop, don’t just read about its specifications. Learn about the brand’s history and how customers respond to their products. If they have had a solid reputation, then there is less to worry about.

But if they had a history of recalls, it might be better to wait it out, especially if what you’re eyeing is a newly released model. See if others have encountered problems with the particular device. 

Care Instructions

Laptop packages should come with a few documents and leaflets. And while it can be intimidating or look like a waste of time, don’t skip reading the manuals and learn how to safely use the device. Read and understand the care instructions such as how to boot up, navigate through battery options, and store your laptop. 

Charging Properly

Recent battery models are made sturdier. Users can now plug their fully charged and not worry about anything. But it’s still not advisable to leave it plugged in for long periods. One way to ensure safety is by using an AVR or a power stabilizer between your laptop charger and your socket.

This way, if a voltage flux occurs, the stabilizer will save your laptop from damage. If your battery is detachable, it’s more advisable to remove it if you will leave your device plugged for an extended time. 

Avoiding Heat

As mentioned, external conditions contribute to the overall health of your battery. You must not expose your device to extreme temperatures – both ends of the scale. For instance, keep it away from direct sunlight or other heat-producing equipment and store it in a cool place.

The battery also deteriorates from the heat the device itself generates. When using your device, make sure the exhaust is not covered in any way. 

Charger

Laptops come with their own charger and through time, they can get damaged or defective. It is tempting to go for much cheaper alternatives, but the money you save now might be double the future expense you’ll get.

Most of the time, unreasonably inexpensive chargers use substandard materials that can disrupt the power that your device receives. Hence, you should only use a charger that is accredited by the manufacturer.

Upgrading Batteries

Battery degrades through time even with normal usage. Older ones usually require more power and generate more heat. Hence, it would be a great investment to replace your old battery. If it’s detachable and you can’t immediately change it, run your laptop on the direct power supply. 

Letting Experts Mod

Some laptops don’t have the option to detach the battery. While it is tempting to DIY battery replacement or any type of “modding”, you should not crack open your device unless you have expert knowledge.

Let trained professionals do the job for you. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but it will lessen the risk of accidents. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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