An everyday household item sparked a blaze that damaged a home in Northwest Springfield.
“We recently had a fire here in town in which a laptop was considered the cause of the fire. The laptop and the cord were on top of a bed and the bedding material,” said Bill Spense, Fire Marshal with the Springfield Fire Department.
“That caused it to overheat and cause a fire by igniting the bedding material,” he added.
Fire crews responded quickly and neither of the two residents who were home at time were injured, but the house suffered serious smoke damage.
“There’s actually several different parts of the laptop that can cause a fire,” said Spense.
“The laptop itself, a lot of laptops will have and internal fan and if they’re not able to get ventilation to go through there it can overheat which can cause a fire. The second issue is the battery. For a while they were having a large recall for the (lithium) batteries of the computers. And of course the third issue is the cord itself, it can overheat and cause a fire,” Spense explained.
And if you’re worried about overheating, you might want to get a cooling pad with fans underneath that can sit underneath your device to keep it from getting too hot. Fire experts also recommend unplugging tour laptop when it’s not charging to avoid electrical issues with the cord.
“Always follow the instructions that are given by the manufacturer. Use it on a hard surface and never leave the laptop laying on your bed,” said Spense.
It sounds simple enough, but it’s a timely and important reminder since use of personal electronics continues to grow.
“A lot of people do use them when they’re sitting in bed at night and especially with college coming back in session right now you see a lot of college kids that have laptops and we just want to let everyone know to be aware of that, not to leave them laying on your bed,” said Spense.
Remember to check your smoke detector monthly to make sure you’re alerted if a fire sparks inside your home