This is the moment a laptop bursts into flames in a family home.
The stunning home surveillance video shows two teenage boys sitting on a couch, playing video games and eating pizza when a laptop suddenly bursts into a ball of fire just three feet away. To watch the video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVQLsveJX3E
It happened in California and there have been hundreds of reports of laptops, mobile phones and other consumer electronics catching on fire in recent years.
Devon Johnson, 18, had plugged in his four-year old laptop to charge and a few hours later smoke began shooting out of the side of the computer before it burst into flames. The fire burned a large hole in the sofa and destroyed the computer.
But the Johnsons consider themselves lucky. Devon and his friend were supposed to have gone to the movies with Devon's parents at the time the laptop was charging.
Devon’s mother, Tori, said: "Had he gone to the movies, our house would have been gone."
After Devon blew out the first fire they unplugged it and took it outside and put it on a table. Three minutes later, while unplugged, the computer caught on fire again. Devon once again blew out the flames. And, after another three minutes passed, flames shot out of the laptop for a third time. This time, Devon used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze.
Thinking the fire was out, he moved closer to inspect the laptop. As he got close, it erupted into flames yet again, almost injuring the teenager. He sprayed it again with the extinguisher, putting out the fire for good.
The fire appears to have come from the laptop's lithium-ion battery. That's the same type of battery technology that's been recalled for causing fires in Hoverboards, Samsung Galaxy smartphones and a variety of laptops.
Safety steps to help prevent lithium-ion batteries in your laptop from catching fire include:
Charge your device on a hard surface which lets heat dissipate
Don't charge devices on beds or couches
Don't overcharge devices. It’s best to unplug a device just before its fully charged
Don't leave your laptop plugged in and charging overnight or when you go to work
* A pioneering invention called an AvSax (www.avsax.com) can minimise the fire danger caused by electronic items such as laptops on board aircraft in seconds with its unique use of water.
Simply pour at least two litres of water into an AvSax and then drop the burning device into the bag. The water activates a polymer gel inside the bag’s lining causing it to expand around the device. Should the device keep on burning then the AvSax is tough enough to absorb the force.