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Explained: Why do phone batteries explode and how to prevent it – Times of India

Exploding smartphones are not very common these days, yet news about them tends to appear from time to time. Recently, there have been reports about OnePlus’ Nord series phones exploding. So. why do these phones explode? There can multiple reasons for such an incident to occur, however, the chances of that happening with you is very slim. Nowadays, manufacturers address and act on such situations very quickly to keep their image untouched and customers satisfied. Here we will discuss some of the reasons for a phone to explode and some tips on how users can prevent that from happening.
Why do phones explode?
As mentioned earlier, a phone can explode due to multiple reasons, but the most common one is the device’s battery. Modern handsets are equipped with lithium-ion batteries which maintain a precise balance of positive and negative electrodes and eventually allow them to recharge. The components present inside a battery can create a volatile reaction by breaking down if something goes wrong. If not handled properly, these reactions may try to cause reasons that can lead to explosions.
How do batteries get damaged?
Batteries can get damaged for multiple reasons and the most common problem is excessive heat. The chemical makeup of a phone can be ruined if a charging battery or an overworked processor becomes too hot too quickly. A chain reaction called thermal runaway can then cause the battery to generate even more heat and eventually catch fire or explode.
Other ways for your device to get damaged
The reasons for your phone to get overheated may differ among devices. Physical damage can also disrupt the inner workings of the battery. This type of damage can be sustained from a fall or excessive bending. There are other reasons for your device to get overheated which include — leaving the phone out in the sun for too long, malware overworking the CPU, or charging devastations can all cause short-circuiting inside the device.
Moreover, there are certain reasons which can be out of the users’ control. Devices that are used for several years can fade the internal components, which eventually leads to swelling and overheating. It can also sometimes be a production issue from the manufacturer and in these cases, users have nothing to do.
Warning signs that phones give out before exploding
There are no specific warnings from a device before it explodes, other than hissing or popping sounds coming from the phone or the smell of burning plastic or chemicals. These indications point toward the phone being damaged and may explode if not taken care of properly. Users can also look out for excessive heat coming from the device, especially when charging. Unplug it immediately if you think it is burning hot while charging.
A swollen battery can also be a big warning sign as it happens only when it is damaged or if its internal components have degraded. Keep a lookout for these changes in your device’s shape like — a protruding screen, an enlarged seam, or a distended chassis, that may no longer allow the phone to sit normally on a flat surface. If you are concerned about your device’s battery just turn it off and take it for service immediately as most modern phones don’t allow users to remove the battery.
Can you prevent a phone from exploding?
Users are helpless if the issue is a manufacturing defect or a naturally degrading power source. But if that’s not the case, there are certain steps that you can take to mitigate some of the load that you are putting on your phone’s battery. Typically, manufacturers test their batteries for faulty components, but imperfections can be present in cheaply made units which can cause a device to overheat.
In the case of reluctant battery construction, there are not many fixes that average users can avail of. However, you can always follow some steps to maintain the health of your device and avoid a fire.
These steps include — using a phone case to avoid physical damage, avoiding extreme outdoor temperatures, charging the phone in a place from where you sleep, maintaining good battery hygiene (charging your phone between 30-80 per cent battery life), using cables and chargers recommended by the company as well as taking care of them and even looking out for malware that can potentially damage the phone by overheating the battery.

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