Technology

Power bank bursts into flames after being left in vehicle

 

POLICE issued a warning to be more careful after a power bank left in the front of a pick-up truck in Phetchaburi province burst into flames and damaged the vehicle but fortunately there were no injuries, Sanook.com said today (Oct. 9).

Emergency Call Centre 191 Phetchaburi’s web page urged people to be more careful with their power banks after one device left in a pick-up truck parked in front of Tha Yang Wittaya School exploded on Thursday Oct. 7 at 1. 39 p.m.

Police and Tha Yang firefighters were alerted of the blaze in the pick-up and were able to quickly put it out leaving the vehicle partly damaged.

An investigation revealed that the vehicle owner had left the power bank up front where it was exposed to strong sunlight and this triggered an explosion. Luckily no one was in the pick-up truck and the owner is not suspicious of any foul play and did not file a complaint.

However police alerted the public to be more careful in preventing such accidents.

Below are tips on on how to find a good power bank and use it safely published by Mytrendyphone.co.uk:

Safety Tip 1: A Lithium-Polymer Power Bank Is a Must

The secret behind battery safety is the high-quality power cells that every power bank consists of today. It gives them a high charging quality, efficiency and a long product life.

Checking if the battery is Lithium Polymer is especially important, as power banks could damage the charged device if you overcharge it. So, our number one piece of advice is to always invest in a high-grade Lithium-ion Polymer battery.

Safety Tip 2: Check for Built-In Protection Against Overcharging

Another crucial factor regarding power bank safety is choosing a power bank that includes automatic protection against overheating, short circuits and overcharging.

This feature is an essential part of all external batteries and chargers of the newer generation. Our advice is not to invest in a product that does not include built-in protection.

Safety Tip 3: What Is the Battery Capacity?

Power bank capacity is shown in milliamp-hours (mAh). So, the more mAh a power bank has, the higher the charging capacity of your new gadget. Make sure that the output voltage (V) of the power bank matches your device. Otherwise, the power bank could damage your phone battery if its output voltage is lower or higher than your phone battery can support.

Power banks often include different ports which charge mobile devices at various amounts of amperes (Amps). Therefore, it is necessary to understand which port charges which device.

Always check:

The output voltage of the power bank and the charged device.

The amperage of the power bank’s ports.

Safety Tip 4: Avoid Prolonged Charging

Leaving your power bank plugged in longer than needed can lead to overheating. It can be particularly dangerous if the product is charging on a bed where heat can build up. Prolonged charging can cause a power bank to become extremely hot while charging your mobile phone or tablet. It is a sign that devices need to be immediately unplugged.

Consistent overcharging will decrease your power bank’s efficiency. Therefore, you should avoid regularly leaving it plugged in overnight, even if the product has built-in overcharging protection.

Safety Tip 5: Cable Quality Matters

The quality of the cable used for power bank charging, and connecting your device with a power bank, is crucial. It regulates how much time is needed for a power bank to be fully charged. It also gives protection to your device against overheating. Therefore, always use the original cables you got with the device at the moment of purchase.

In case your original cable is damaged, use cables from manufacturers that guarantee original quality. Many third-party cables provide safe charging but check if its quality is the same as the original one.

Safety Tip 6: Brand Reviews Count For a Lot

Before you choose a power bank you like, make sure to check the brand! Today, people tend to share their thoughts about different products, services and brands, so do brand research to ensure that it isn’t fake. Buying a power bank from a reputable source should ensure that the product is of high-quality.

Also, always check whether an online seller issues a warranty for their products in case of defect or any malfunction. 

Other factors to take into consideration before choosing:

Always check product reviews.

Do not decide based only on price.

Safety Tip 7: Use It With Care

Several accidents caused by power banks or other types of batteries are due to mishandling and improper use. Store power banks in a cold, dry place. This means that you should not expose the battery to high temperatures or heat sources, or liquids and spillages, neither should you keep the battery in an environment that could physically damage it.

Furthermore, connecting a power bank with a voltage-incompatible device may put both your power bank and the charged device at risk. 

All electronic devices should be handled with care so that you can use them safely and effectively for as long as possible. 

Make sure to:

Charge it only when needed.

Don’t leave it exposed to the sun, unless it is a solar power bank.

Don’t leave it uncharged for an extended period.

Don’t leave it in a car or inside a pocket.

Always keep it dry.

Safety Tip 8: Match the Power Bank Design With Your Lifestyle

Have you never been a fan of water-resistant or slim designs? Now you will be!

You may wonder how design affects whether an external battery is safe or not. Well, it plays a less obvious role. It all depends on your daily routine and activities, but if you are a fan of outside sports where a power bank can come in contact with water, then you should look for a water-resistant model. 

Are you the type of person who usually carries many different things in a purse or a backpack? In that case, we advise you to search for a slim and smart design that will not take up too much room but will still avoid damage despite its non-robust look.

Safety Tip 9: Always Read Product Instructions!

If you are new to the use of power banks, make sure to read thoroughly the user manual that comes with the product. The manual will explain in detail how to charge it and pair it with your other devices. Take special note of the warnings! 

Safety Tip 10: Do Not “Upgrade” Your Power Bank

You may find a range of tutorials and videos on how to modify your power banks, but we advise you not to try to “upgrade” them yourself. Any expert in electronic devices would tell you the same.

The general opinion that small electronic devices cannot harm you is a false premise. Any experimenting with the power bank can lead to an electric shock or other injuries.

*Extra Safety Tip: Power Banks Are Not Safe for Children

Even though some power banks come with a pocket mirror, hand warmer, LED lamps or other fun designs, power banks are not for children. Therefore, do not let children play with them because they can be extremely dangerous if they become physically damaged.

CAPTION:

The  pick-up truck that was damaged after the owner left a power bank up front leading to an explosion. Photos: Emergency Call Center 191 Phetchaburi

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