Worried, older Caucasian woman with long hair and glasses. She’s reading about a laptop battery explosion on her computer.

Can Laptops Explode?

By Levin Simes
June 28, 2024
Laptops shouldn’t overheat. Ignoring any temperature changes may lead to serious burns. Spot signs of an imminent laptop battery explosion with this quick guide.

Can Laptops Explode? Short answer: Yes, they can.

The University of Arizona notes a significant rise in electrical fires from lithium devices. Some of which stem from laptop battery explosions. 

While laptop battery explosions are, for the time being, rare, the burns associated are often severe.  If you own a laptop, you are at risk.

Manufacturers should build products that don’t harm their end users. But, sometimes that doesn’t always happen. That’s why we’re here for you. 

In total, Levin Simes has recovered hundreds of millions in damages for clients, including those who have suffered the painful repercussions of bad battery burns

If you or someone you know has been harmed by a defectively designed lithium battery, you might have a strong claim. Contact us online or reach out by phone at: (415) 426-3000 if your laptop battery has exploded.

Or, protect yourself against laptop battery explosions, with our guide below. 

So, What Causes an Exploding Laptop Battery?

Laptops are made of small lithium or nickel-based batteries that require charging over time. It’s this exposure to charge that makes laptops overheat. 

Lithium-based batteries are especially prone to overheating. This makes computers like Macbooks extremely vulnerable to explosion. 

When a lithium battery produces heat faster than it can get rid of it, a process called thermal runway takes place until the battery burns out or burns its user. This is because the ingredients used to maintain a battery’s charge–oxygen, fuel, and direct heat–also comprise materials necessary to ignite a flame.

But How Often Do Laptop Batteries Explode? 

In the United States, the number of lithium battery failures varies but worsens annually. Cities like New York experienced a significant rise in lithium-ion battery fires, particularly from devices like e-bikes, with 92 incidents reported in 2023 alone. 

While most cases of lithium burns were not laptop-related, the data underscores the broader issue of battery safety​. Some governing bodies have gone as far as banning small products containing lithium to avoid long-term damage to workers. But anyone who uses a laptop for work, study, or recreation is at risk of the same severe burns. 

As more reports of overheating or exploding lithium batteries surface, it appears that products containing them may cause more harm than those without them. If you’ve experienced a severe burn from using a phone, vape, or Macbook, you might be eligible for a claim. Contact us by phone at (415) 426-3000 or online to learn more.

Can a Laptop Battery Explode from Overuse?

Yes, a laptop battery can potentially explode from overuse, though such occurrences are rare. Overuse can lead to overheating, which is a primary factor in battery explosions. 

When a laptop is used continuously the battery can become excessively hot. This heat can degrade the battery and increase the risk of thermal runaway. To avoid thermal runway, follow this checklist:

  • Practice Proper Charging: Avoid overcharging and ensure you disconnect the charger once your laptop is fully charged. 
  • Keep Heat Away: Do not expose your laptop to high temperatures. Always store and use it in a controlled environment. 
  • Check and Inspect: Routinely check your laptop battery for any signs of damage. If you notice swelling, leakage, or other abnormal signs, replace the battery immediately.
  • Don’t Use the Cheap Stuff: Only use chargers and batteries that the laptop manufacturer approves. Avoid cheap third-party accessories, which might not have the necessary safety features. 
  • Stay Updated: Keep your laptop’s software and firmware up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that include improvements for battery management and safety.
  • Stop Using if It Isn’t Cooling: Getting a lithium burn can be life-changing. Make sure to follow these steps diligently to prevent future personal injury.

Remember, it’s important to cease the use of any electrical device that feels hot to the touch. Once a laptop is overheated it becomes an immediate and imminent threat to the user’s physical well-being.

Contact Levin Simes if Your Laptop Battery Exploded

The attorneys at Levin Simes are highly skilled, nationally recognized trial lawyers with over 100 years of combined experience in litigation and trial work. We have extensive experience handling cases involving lithium-ion battery injuries. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay unless we win your case.

Levin Simes attorneys are members of prestigious organizations like the American Board of Trial Advocates and have been appointed to leadership positions by judges nationwide.  

When you hire Levin Simes, you place your trust in a fearless team that isn’t intimidated by large corporations or insurance companies.  We pride ourselves in our accessibility and our commitment to providing the highest level of service to all we support.

For those who have suffered injuries from laptop battery explosions, contacting Levin Simes can provide access to experienced legal representation that can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. 

Don't let the statute of limitations on your claim run out—contact Levin Simes today online or at (415) 426-3000 to get the compensation you deserve.

Related Resources

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