Exploding smartphones are DEADLY bombs; Why they catch fire and how to stop it

Exploding smartphones are getting way too common. It is an extremely dangerous eventuality. So, why do smartphones explode? We tell you that and a few ways to avoid it.

| Updated on: Sep 14 2022, 13:41 IST
iPhone battery killer apps on your iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11?
Xiaomi 12 Pro
1/5 iPhones such as the iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and even the iPhone 11 have an in-built Apple tool that allows you to check which apps are draining your battery life. Here’s how you can check. (Pixabay)
Xiaomi 12 Pro
2/5 Go to your iPhone’s Settings and head to Battery. On the next page, tap on the Last 10 Days option, which shows battery usage for different apps from the past 10 days. (Apple)
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3/5 Scroll down to find the apps that have used the majority of your battery life in percentage form. Check which app has used how much battery in the past 10 days. (Pixabay)
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4/5 You can even toggle it to see the listed items by activity and keep them ordered by battery usage. Now check which app you use very less but it's high on the list for battery usage. Also see the duration the app was running in the background. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Watch out for apps that use lots of battery and rack up lots of background usage time. You can either delete them or turn Low Power Mode on at the top. (Pixabay)
Xiaomi 12 Pro
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Batteries are the main reason why smartphones explode and we tell you why. (Representative Image) (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

A couple of hours ago, a report emerged of a woman's phone exploding in UP, killing her 8-month old daughter. Prior to that, there was a report of another woman dying when her smartphone exploded. Be it any brand, mobile phones exploding have been a commonly heard phenomenon and they have often injured users critically. But why does it happen? Why do smartphones and mobile phones explode?

The most common reason behind explosions is battery related and despite numerous promises from phone makers on stringent safety checks, we keep seeing phones explode every now and then. However, it is not always a manufacturer's error. Wonder how? Dive in as we explain and know a few ways to keep your smartphones from exploding.

Mobile phones explosions: Why does it happen

-The most common cause for smartphone explosions is a damaged battery. Mobile phones and smartphones rely on Li-ion batteries, which need to stay chemically balanced. If the chemicals are exposed to too much heat, or their casing is tampered with, they can explode.

-Overheating batteries are dangerous. This happens when you are charging a phone in extremely hot ambient temperatures, or overcharging the battery overnight, or using the phone for calls while charging.

-Then there's the charging cycle. The case with Li-ion batteries is that the more you charge them, the more their health deteriorates. When batteries age, they either start to swell, which results in bulging back panels, or screens. Hence, the more you charge, the faster they deteriorate.

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Battery charging deteriorates the battery itself. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
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Battery charging deteriorates the battery itself. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

-Physical damage is another big reason. If you keep dropping your phones frequently, chances are that the impact may transfer the shock to the battery components, resulting in damaged terminals, or broken protective cases. Many phone repairs also accidentally cause damage to the battery, resulting in fires and explosions.

-Manufacturing defect is also another reason behind such explosions.

-Un-certified chargers are another reason for phone explosions. If a phone's battery is fed with more current or voltage than its designed for, the battery may start deteriorating faster, causing the phone to explode. This is one of the main reasons for exploding phones in India.

Exploding phones: How much harm can they cause

Sadly, exploding phones in recent reports have proven to be deadly. If a phone explodes while using, or while talking, it can cause severe burns, resulting in serious injuries. Exploded shrapnel from the damaged phones may also harm your eyes and other sensitive areas.

How to prevent battery explosions on your phone

iOS 16
iPhones have in-built battery saving measures. (via MacRumours)
iPhones have in-built battery saving measures. (via MacRumours)

-There's not much you can do with a manufacturing defect. If you observe your new phone to have a bulging rear, or overheating while charging, you should take it to your nearest service center immediately. Additionally, you should stop using the phone to prevent any untoward incident.

-If you have an old smartphone, keep checking for bulges on the rear panel. If you observe quick discharges, reach out to your nearest service center and get it replaced. Some phones, such as the iPhones, show the battery health in percentage and even reduce performance to keep it safe.

-Do not use uncertified chargers. Prefer using the supplied charger in the box to charge the phone. Additionally, you should always buy certified chargers from the manufacturer's outlets directly instead of settling for third-party charger.

-Do not use your phone while charging. The charging process heats up the battery as well as the other components. Gaming or calling while charging only adds more stress on the processor, which in turn heats up the battery, and puts more stress.

-Ensure that you follow healthy charging practices. Do not drain the battery to less than 30 percent charge frequently, try charging it between 30 percent and 80 percent. Also, try to avoid charging your battery more than 80 percent to enhance it life. Avoid frequent top-ups from 70 percent, let the battery drain. Remember, the lesser you charge, the healthier your battery stays. Try some battery software-based battery preserving features in your iPhone and Android phones, such as optimised charging on the former.

-Your phone doesn't like extreme high temperatures and extremely low temperatures. Try to keep your phone in the shade and avoid contact with direct sunlight. If required, turn off data and other wireless connections to reduce the stress. Also, avoid using the camera when the phone has heated up due to high ambient temperatures.

-Protect your smartphone with a case to avoid internal damage in the . If you observe any anomaly after dropping your phone, switch it off and take it to a service center to get it checked.

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First Published Date: 14 Sep, 13:41 IST
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