CPSC Releases Tips on Notebook Computer Use

September 28, 2006
Release Number: 06271

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.