Last week my nephew shared a story about an iPhone in his town of Philly that had burst into flames in a young girls pocket.
Twelve-year-old Alexis Rolon has had her iPhone 5C since November and was carrying it in her back pants pocket when it started burning, giving her second-degree burns.
Since I had an iPhone last year that would get very, very hot, I wondered what the frequency is of cellphone fires and did a little research.
My search turned up several stories.
Another middle-school student in Maine had the same experience as Alexis with her new iPhone 5C.
She sat down in class with her phone in her back pocket. She heard a “popping” sound, and then felt a burning sensation. She was trained well, and did the “drop and roll” thing, though I think taking the phone out of her pocket should have been her first priority!
Remember when the iPhone 6 first came out and it had a problem with bending? Here’s an extreme case of “bendgate”:
Last October, an iPhone 6 exploded, then started burning in a man’s front pants pocket. He was in a minor accident and landed against a metal bar which bent the phone. Right after than the phone exploded and left him with first and second-degree burns.
Another story, this time it wasn’t in a pants pocket:
Last August a young girl had stored her iPhone 5 in her purse prior to boarding a plane for a flight from Israel. When the cabin of the plane started filling up with smoke, the girl realized the smoke was coming from her purse. When she opened the purse, flames were clearly visible. The airline blamed it on the lithium battery, though other stories blame it on a faulty screen replacement.
All of these stories make me really glad the Chris made me take my iPhone 5 in to be
checked last fall. It had been getting increasingly hot, and I was noticing that the screen was lifting up off of the body of the phone. We brought it into the Apple store in Boulder and made an appointment to have it looked at by one of their techs at the Genius Bar. Sure enough, the battery had expanded and actually pushing the glass screen up and away from the body of the phone. Apple replaced the battery and the screen under warranty. My phone no longer over-heated and I had a new scratch-free screen!
The moral of the story: If your iPhone is feeling hot or you notice something off about it, bring it in to one of Apple’s retail stores and get it checked out. Prior to bringing it in, sync your iPhone in case they need to restore it to factory settings. Also, if you can, remember to go online and make an appointment ahead of time. That will save you the three hour wait I had for my appointment time. If they do determine that it needs to be repaired, you’ll need to leave it with them and pick it up when they’re done, usually an hour or two later.
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