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Man saves laptop from battery blaze

Brave or foolhardy? You decide...

Application security programs and practises

An HP notebook was left damaged but not destroyed last week when it became the latest laptop to suffer a battery meltdown - the hasty removal of the power cell prevented a notebook fire like the one that took out a Lenovo ThinkPad two weeks ago. This time the incendiary incident was captured on video.

According to witnesses, the notebook began to emit smoke, at which point the clearly asbestos-fingered owner pulled out the smoking power cell and punted it outside into his firm's parking lot. Just in time: the battery caught fire almost immediately.

a laptop's battery burns

a laptop's battery burns

It's clear from the pictures the battery must have reached temperatures high enough to melt and scorch the laptop's battery bay.

a laptop's battery burns

For that reason, we'd never recommend removing an smoking battery. Quite apart from what the heat could do to your hand, here's what happened to the battery after it was removed:

a battery burns
MPEG 4 video file - click to play in new window

You wouldn't want you hands on that...

It's unclear what make of battery was fitted into the HP laptop, and whether it was the original HP-supplied power cell or a third-party add-in. In April this year, HP asked 15,700 customers to return their notebook batteries, which posed a fire risk. ®

Thanks to Reg Hardware reader Rick Fairbourne for the pics

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