Burning iBook Warns of Laptop Fire Hazards

A Minneapolis TV station is warning laptop owners to be cautious with their portable computers or risk a fire. The report drives its point home with photos of a burning iBook. WCCOis footage of a burning iBook is dramatic, and acts as a reminder that you may get burned if you donit pay attention to basic safety precautions, like donit place your laptop on flammable materials.

In the case of the burning iBook, an 11 year old boy was using his laptop while it was sitting on a carpeted floor. Later, he left the the iBook unattended on the floor while he left the room. His parents heard a popping noise, and came into the room to find that the iBook was melting the carpet. They moved the laptop outside, with the power supply still attached, and photographed the computer catching on fire.

The report blames the battery, and notes that Apple, Dell, HP, and other computer manufacturers have recalled batteries before based on potential fire hazards. It also notes that there have been 43 reports of fires caused by laptop batteries over the five years.

Although the flaming iBook seen in the report was not included in a battery recall, Apple is replacing batteries in other models. Specific 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4, or 15-inch PowerBook G4 are included in the current recall. You can check the Apple Web site to see if your laptop is included.

Thanks to TMO reader Tom Egan for pointing out the WCCO report.