Last year, the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco made it very clear that lithium-ion batteries can be explosive. Battery-powered gadgets are also susceptible to this problem.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau , an Australian agency that takes care of the country’s transport safety, a woman got burns and blisters after her headset exploded on a flight.
Two hours after the flight from Beijing to Melbourne took off, the passenger was sleeping and listening to music on her headphones when she heard a loud explosion. Soon after, she felt a burning sensation on her face.
“I continued to feel a burning sensation, so I grabbed the headphones and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire,” she told ATSB.
The flight attendants poured water over the headphones, which was placed in a bucket at the back of the plane. The batteries and the body of the device melted and stuck to the aircraft floor. He released toxic smoke that made passengers cough for the rest of the flight, which took place on February 19.
ATSB strongly suspects that the problem was with the batteries, not the device itself. The agency did not reveal the name of the passenger, nor the name of the airline, nor the brand of the headphones.
As The Verge recalls , batteries and lithium batteries are susceptible to what is known as “thermal escape”. An increase in temperature – caused by an internal failure or an external source – can cause the electrolytes to react with the other chemical components in the battery. This creates a gas that raises the temperature, creating a cycle that can lead to fires and explosions.
Therefore, it is important to avoid unreliable brands, and to check if your electronic products have passed security tests. This will become increasingly important for headsets as smartphones lose the traditional 3.5mm jack and encourage users to adopt wireless audio devices – and with batteries.