A poor thirteen year old girl experienced first and second degree burns on her leg after her Apple iPhone caught fire in her pocket. She was sitting in class, when all of a sudden her pocket basically burst into flames.
In the past, we have heard about iPhone’s overheating and catching fire, but it is an extremely rare instance. It is curious that this was able to happen, as iPhone’s usually automatically shut down when they reach near over-heating point. I am curious to find out how this phenomenon was brought on.
At the most basic level, Lithium polymer batteries are capable of catching aflame when they get too hot. Apple uses these batteries because they are much higher in quality working with better speed and efficiency. Again, it is an extremely rare occurrence for iPhone’s to burst into flames like that. It is very strange that the phone over-heated to that point in the pocket of an individual sitting in a classroom.
Other such instances have occurred in the past, like when a Chinese woman reported her iPhone exploding from an over-heat after a 40 minute phone call. After the woman had finished her call, taking the phone away from her face, she moved to press the “End” button when the right corner exploded, showering glass into her eye.
Apple cautions customers to be careful that they do not buy cheap knock-off accessories to their phones as sometimes those types of things can contribute to such malfunctions.
A lesson to take from these stories is to realize that batteries can be explosive; and while smaller batteries (like the ones used to power phones), very rarely combust, it is still possible for it to happen. The young teen whom was simply carrying her phone in her back pocket, had to experience some pretty bad burns. The phone likely got too hot since she was sitting on it. She will likely opt to carry such devices in a purse or backpack following this shocking experience.
But don't worry, our batteries are safe and won't catch on fire.