Written By: Cassandra Bondie

Ever since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Series in March of 2016 – and the dangerous, unexpected explosions that followed – consumers everywhere have wondered, “Is my cell phone safe?”

CBS12, Android Authority, and Gizbot set out to answer that question, listing warning signs and preventative tips to help Android users (and all smartphone users) stay safe.

According to a CBS12 news story in West Palm Beach, rechargeable batteries are more and more often becoming part of the local news. Recently covered explosions listed in the article involved a hoverboard, laptop, and cell phone. One caught fire while in use, another helped a home burn, and the latter exploded while in the pocket of a 10-year-old girl at school.

Each of these devices used rechargeable batteries. The article goes on to note that “there have been at least eight deaths reported worldwide due to battery fires or explosions.”

To be more specific, many devices with explosion problems have used lithium-ion batteries. These batteries, when punctured or broken, can swell and potentially explode after internal short circuits.

While the Consumer Product Safety Commission is working to fix the problem and install surveillance, keeping track of hazards can be nearly impossible.

The CBS news article says when trying to determine if a device is overheating, put one hand on your head and the other hand on your device. If the device is hotter, you should remove the battery and allow it to cool down.

When charging your device, keep it away from flammable or combustible objects and make sure your allotted space is open. Heat can be easily generated when devices are charged in tight quarters.

Android Authority suggests taking your phone off the charger if it becomes too hot – in addition to using first-party chargers and keeping your phone away from your sleeping space. Rolling over onto your device or leaving it under a pillow can be extremely dangerous.

A good portion of the work involved in keeping yourself safe rests in knowing the warning signs. Gizbot claims common signs include your phone being hot to the touch, bulging batteries, and smartphone damage. To keep yourself safe, you should buy batteries from reputable sources, keep your phone in a ventilated area, and avoid charging your device in a low-temperature environment.

Low temperatures can cause lithium to permanently plate, increasing the chances of battery failure or an explosion.

Android Authority adds that, if you notice your battery swelling, you should remove and dispose of it as soon as possible. The process of disposal should be done at an electronics retailer such as Best Buy or a local recycling center that handles batteries.

The moment you believe a battery may become a danger to your life, remove it from your phone or electronic device. Buying a new battery is well worth the investment. You won’t be injured, and your smartphone will remain intact. Remember, even third-party repair shops can’t save your phone after an explosion.

Good luck and stay safe!
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