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Samsung laptop battery burns

Pillow-as-desk usage to blame?

A Samsung laptop's battery caught fire yesterday, setting light to the bed it had been left on, South Korean firefighters have revealed.

The P10 laptop overheated, causing the bedclothes to smoulder and burn. No one was hurt in the incident, Reuters reports, which took place in Yeonnam-dong, Mapo, South Korea.

Details are sketchy, but it appears the laptop was in use at the time. The owner - believed to be a 34-year-old woman - had been working on the computer for three-and-a-half hours, with the machine perched on a pillow.

Samsung told the newsagency it was still investigating the matter, but it's hard not to guess that the laptop overheated because the pillow blocked the computer's air vents.

Many laptops' fans suck air through vents in their cases' bases, pulling the cool air over key components and then venting hot air out through the rear or sides of the casing. If any of these are smothered, temperatures inside the case can rise rapidly, potentially affecting a machine's heat-sensitive lithium battery.

Last month, an LG laptop caught fire in a Seoul hotel, though independent investigators said the computer's battery had blown because it had been subjected to sudden and unexpected temperature and pressure increases.

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