You've probably heard about airlines banning laptops in checked baggage. That isn't an attempt to stay at the vanguard of inconvenience: It's about protecting the plane from notoriously unstable lithium-ion batteries. For the perfect example of why having one of these ignite in a cargo hold would be bad news, watch the video above.
What you're seeing is a laptop, left charging overnight, spontaneously explode. The owner of that laptop, Steve Paffett -- who also owns a business in England called Allplas, the office of which was set on fire by that computer -- got an intruder alert while he was sleeping. Upon checking the CCTV app on his phone, he saw "a bonfire" on his desk.
“The ground floor is ruined, all the stock is written off," Paffett told The Comet. "Luckily none of it caught fire, but it’s just covered in smoke – the whole building is filthy and reeks." He could now be out of business for six months.
The fire was started by an HP Envy laptop from 2014, which Motherboard points out was recalled back in January, because the computers "have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers." You can see ample evidence of that above. This same problem with lithium batteries is what led Samsung to kill off every Galaxy Note 7 in America.
“I don’t think anywhere near enough of us are aware of the potential ‘bombs’ we have indoors,” Paffett said. “I was sat at that seat earlier that day and I swear it would have taken my face off or killed me."
This is definitely a good opportunity to check out the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's running list of manufacturer recalls.
h/t The Comet, Motherboard