This iPhone 4 caught fire while charging overnight and a Nest camera caught the flames

This iPhone 4 caught fire while charging overnight and a Nest camera caught the flames

A ten-year-old iPhone recently caught fire while charging in a family’s kitchen and the burning was caught on video. Luckily no one was hurt and the fire burned out, but the footage is alarming as it happened overnight while the family was sleeping.

The fire happened with an iPhone 4, a model introduced 12 years ago, so no one should worry about modern iPhones catching fire. However, the incident underscores the importance of knowing what can cause a battery to burn.

Ohio’s Brian and Jennifer Leisgang shared details of what happened in a Facebook post. The family say a Google Home product in the kitchen, set to always record, captured the video.

In the post, the family describes how dangerous the situation could have been:

We were very lucky to avoid an apartment fire. Our kids were charging our old iPhone 4 with the Apple charger last night and it exploded and caught fire in our kitchen while we were sleeping.

Luckily we had just cleaned the counter yesterday [usually] has many textbooks and papers in this area. There are small bits of phone and black soot all over the counter this morning.

Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in electronics and battery fires are rare, but there are conditions that will cause rechargeable batteries to overheat and burn. Common causes include exposure to fire, puncture damage, and manufacturing defects.

This particular iPhone is probably one of the few things that happened. Cheap chargers are often to blame when batteries catch fire, although here the charging cable appears to be in good condition.

The age of the iPhone also plays a role. Older iPhones don’t increase the risk of fire, but battery care is crucial. A 12-year-old iPhone that is still in use will either have a spare battery or live on a charger to stay powered.

Leaving an old battery connected to a charger can cause the battery to overcharge and overheat. Battery replacement, while necessary, should also be handled with caution. Relying on an Apple Authorized Service Provider ensures that the correct procedure is followed and genuine parts are used.

Lithium-ion batteries can also expand with age. A chemical reaction in the battery provides electricity, but the chemical reaction can fail over time and produce a gas. This causes the battery to swell, which greatly increases the risk of fire. Fully stuffed batteries should always be treated with care and replaced.

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