The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of at least 47 incidents involving smoke or fire associated with notebook computers, from January 2001 through August 2006. To promote safe use of notebook computers, batteries and chargers, CPSC offers safety tips.
- Do not use incompatible computer batteries and chargers. If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible, contact the product manufacturer.
- Computer batteries can get hot during normal use. Do not use your computer on your lap.
- Do not use your computer on soft surfaces, such as a sofa, bed or carpet, because it can restrict airflow and cause overheating.
- Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.
- Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.
- Avoid dropping or bumping the computer. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the computer and battery. If you suspect damage contact the manufacturer.
- Do not place the computer in areas that may get very hot.
- Do not get your computer or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
- Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user's guide.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.