Flaming work laptop toasts cottage
Did dodgy battery cause £350,000 of damage?
A retired schools inspector is suing her former employer because her work laptop allegedly set fire to to her thatched cottage, causing £350,000 of damage.
The case, currently before the High Court, could have serious implications for any company which lets staff work from home. The inspector, Eileen Visser, is taking action under safety rules - because the laptop was supplied by her employer, Ofsted.
The court heard that Ms Visser had previous problems with her four-year old laptop and had been issued with a replacement battery for it two weeks before the fire, the Daily Mail reports.
She claims that when the machine overheated she called the help desk and was told to leave the machine switched on so its fan would help cool it down.
So she took the dog for a walk.
When she got back an hour later her Grade-II listed cottage was on fire.
She also claims eight other Ofsted staff had similar problems.
Investigators have confirmed an electrical fault as the likely cause of the fire. Repairs cost £359,144, but her insurers only paid out £249,813. Visser is seeking the remaining £100,000.
Ofsted said it was not accepting liability and would not comment further while the case was ongoing. ®
Said it for me
I'm willing to bet a fair amount of imaginary money that the laptop was on a soft surface like a chair or table cloth contributing to the overheating. If I'm right then she is as much to blame as anyone else for not following common sense by blocking the vents. With that said what sort of idiotic tech support is it that suggests leaving an overheating laptop on? Would they also have suggested letting it burn itself out when it burst into flames?
Not vendor battery?
Maybe if the employer provided third party battery, I'm sure any laptop manufacturer clearly state in the manual "Only use our $$$ batteries". This might give some ground for court action. If your employer provide you with unsafe equipments (as against the manufacturer recommendations).
End of the day it's the laptop that burned down the cottage, laptop provided by her employer. If Ofsted then wants to turn against the manufacturer their choice....
"She called the help desk and was told to leave the machine switched on so its fan would help cool it down."
It's a good job that Ofsted don't oversee our education system or anything, otherwise we'd all be screwed...
Seriously though, on what planet does leaving something that's overheating switched on and unattended ever seem like a good idea? My flabber is well and truly gasted.
Science icon, ironically.
Apparently when she phoned the fire brigade they told her the house would cool down by itself if she let the fire rage a bit longer
What sort of tech support is that?
"Hi, my laptop is REALLY overheating, what should I do?"
"Just leave it on, it'll cool down by itself"