FP StaffOct 05, 2022 13:28:58 IST
Rarely do our electronics fail and explode. But when they do, they explode in a spectacularly bad manner, often proving to be fatal. The case of the exploding television in Ghaziabad which claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy, and injured others is a stark reminder of just how important it is to take care of electrical appliances, and even when they show no symptoms, they can prove to be fatal.
Electrical appliances exploding without a warning is nothing new. However, this stands out, because usually TVs rarely explode. That, however, doesn’t mean that they can’t explode. Anything that runs on electricity, has capacitors, and generates heat, can explode, sometimes fatally.
We take a look at some common electrical appliances and household items that can explode, without warning.
EVs have to take the top spot in this list. As bullish as we are about EVs like e-scooters and battery-powered cars, we have to keep in mind the fact that the battery management system in most EVs has not been designed according to India’s heat and humidity, since most of these are developed based on international designs.
When they go wrong, and they do indeed go wrong, they can be very fatal. There are numerous cases of people losing their lives to e-scooters catching on fire spontaneously.
Old refrigerators & air conditioners
Old refrigerators had a tendency to explode. It was actually the compressors used in the refrigerators to cool everything, which generated a lot of heat. Plus most condensers use gases that can be highly inflammable, especially at high temperatures and pressure. The same goes for old air conditioners. That is why regular maintenance and check-ups of your old refrigerators and air conditioners are important.
Smartphone batteries have developed a lot, especially in terms of capacity and charging times. Unfortunately, this has led to a scenario, where battery health has gone for a toss. There have been numerous cases of smartphone batteries exploding while they were being charged, being used regularly, or simply when they were doing absolutely nothing.
Given the close proximity in which we keep our smartphones, it only makes sense to keep an eye on the health of the battery, and take proper care while charging your device.
Normally, televisions, especially the new LED ones, don’t usually explode. With that being said, there are some conditions when TVs do explode since they use very powerful capacitors. Televisions can explode if they have been shoddily repaired, are using a faulty capacitor, are being used for extended periods of time without proper cooling, and are during extreme voltage fluctuations.
Geysers have become pretty safe, but gas-based water heaters and some electric geysers do have a tendency to explode. As always, if they have been shoddily repaired, or have some serious manufacturing fault, the chances of an explosion grows substantially. Geysers, when they are switched on and do not have any water in them are just like pressure cookers. Hence, you should switch on geysers only when they have an active water connection running to them, and you should also get them checked out and serviced regularly, by a proper and qualified technician.
Microwave ovens use a very strong heating element. Normally, they are safe to use. However, people often are not very careful with using microwaves. It is very dangerous to put certain materials in a microwave, everyone knows that. And yet, people often absent-mindedly use metal containers to heat up food inside microwaves.
Finally, there are laptop batteries. Laptop batteries have larger capacities, especially when you compare them with cellphone batteries although their mAh ratings may make you think otherwise. Laptops usually have great battery management systems, but when they fail, they can fail spectacularly.