Laptop Fire ( from CBC News Report)

   Laptop fire blamed for Vancouver death

Apple laptops were among several recalled by manufacturers because of
problems with overheating batteries causing burns. (Paul Sakuma/Associated

An overheated laptop computer left on a couch caused a fire that killed a
56-year-old Vancouver man, the Coroners Service of British Columbia has

The fire took place six months ago, but the victim's name has not been

The fire started after the computer was left on a couch, plugged in and
turned on. Because of the lack of ventilation under the laptop, less than
an hour later the lithium-ion battery overheated and burst into flames,
sparking the fire that eventually killed the man.

The coroner did not release the make of computer involved in the death, but
did say several makes of laptops have been recalled in recent years due to
problems with lithium-ion batteries overheating and bursting into flames.

Since 2004 in B.C., four other laptops have either overheated or
short-circuited when left plugged in, causing fires. The death earlier this
year, however, was the first in B.C. blamed on a laptop fire, the coroner
said in statement issued Wednesday morning.

And there have been 15 other fires caused by short-circuiting or
overheating in such equipment as personal computers, DVD players, and
cellphone chargers.

         Safety recommendations

The coroner's office recommended anyone using a laptop take the following

a.. Always operate on a hard surface that allows ventilation.
Soft materials can block the airflow vents and cause it to

b.. If it is not possible to avoid using a soft surface, an
optional heat-sink base should be used to maintain cooling.

c.. Always shut down your laptop, even for short periods of time,
especially when placed in a carry bag.

d.. Inspect and clean the air vents on a weekly basis.
Forced-air dusters can be used to keep the vents clean and free
from debris.

e.. Replace any equipment or parts that do not work.

f.. Using a laptop desk or cooler to allow air circulation
between the laptop and the desk

g.. Visit the Health Canada recall listings website to see if a
laptop has been recalled.

h.. Review the manufacturers' website for additional safety
tips and recommended maintenance.

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