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Prevent your laptop or desktop fires from burning down your house

Life without desktops & laptops has become unimaginable for many of us. However, it is important to take safety measures while using these electronic devices so that you don’t have a laptop or computer fire in your home.

Did you know that between 2007-2011, there was an estimated 730 U.S.home structure fires involving office equipment per year resulting in 11 civilian deaths, 51 civilian injuries as well as $28 million in property damage per year? And 48 percent of the time, computer was the main cause of the fire. So, don’t you want to know what causes the fire?

There are mainly 3 causes of desktop as well as laptop fires:

  • Heat from dust build-up in desktop computers
  • The ignition of wire or cable insulation or appliance housing or casing started 36 percent of the office equipment structure fires in homes
  • Overheated batteries of laptops

So what can you do in order to prevent desktop & laptop fires?


Did you know that computers can build up dust on heat generating components over time?

This makes them hotter & hotter and then when you combine the heat with a hot room, you have an environment conducive to a fire!

You can prevent this from happening by:

  • Using an air conditioner in your room where you keep your computer.
  • Not storing items on top of your computer.
  • Keeping the outside computer case vent covers clear of dust bunnies.
  • Having your computer cleaned annually.
  • Unpluging your computer & removing the exterior case & then vacuuming the interior.

You can use a can of compressed air to blow out in between the crevices as well as difficult to reach places. It is better to hire a computer tech to do this for you annually if you don’t feel comfortable.

The ignition of wire or cable insulation or appliance housing or casing

What would you do in this case? You need to upgrade your electrical wiring in your home. Also make sure to use only heavy extension cords. Last but not the least, do not overload your circuits with too much of an electrical load!

Overheated batteries of laptops

Do you know what causes laptop batteries to overheat?

When laptops are plugged in, charging, as well as placed on a flat surface like a couch cushion or bed, they can easily get very hot and that too very quickly. When lithium-ion cells reach 302°F, the cell becomes thermally unstable, & then flaming gases are released.

So how can you prevent overheating of laptop batteries?

  • Always place your laptop on a hard, flat surface such as table or floor. Never keep it on a bed or couch cushion.
  • Make sure you don’t block the air vents on the back or sides of laptop.
  • Buy a lap top chill pad/cooler.
  • Check out the laptop’s air vents every now & remove dust or debris blocking the ventilation.
  • Invest in a can of compressed air.
  • Avoid using a laptop power cord or extension cord that is damaged as it can start a fire.

Apart from these things, don’t forget to install a smoke detector in the room where you keep your computer as well invest in a fire extinguisher in order to prevent fires from spreading.

Also, make sure to replace your laptop batteries annually.

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