Warning after overheated laptop causes house fire
The Fire Service is offering advice to the public after an overheated laptop on a bed started a house fire.
The fire started in a conservatory in Huddersfield and caused serious damage to the roof of the house and spread to the roof space of the two adjoining properties.
Fortunately no-one was in any of the affected properties at the time.
Following the blaze a Fire Investigation Officer attended to determine the cause and is now warning people to turn off their laptop when not in use.
Fire Investigation Officer Ian Firth said: “We have concluded that the most likely cause of the fire was that it started as a result of a laptop being left on a bed within the conservatory.
“The bedding material would have limited the ventilation which is required to ensure the laptop doesn’t overheat.
“If a laptop is placed on anything that prevents cool air circulation through it, the device can overheat and ignite surrounding combustible items. Our advice would be to use laptops on a solid flat surface which allows the cooling system to operate properly.”
There was no indication of a fault on the laptop itself.
Signs your laptop is overheating:
*Your fan always runs at maximum speed.
*You experience reduced performance because the Central Processing Unit reduces its clock speed in an attempt to reduce heat output.
*Frequent and sudden shutdowns to prevent hardware damage.
*Always use your laptop on a hard, flat surface.
*The majority of laptops draw cooling air in through ventilation grills on their underside. If the laptop sits on an uneven, soft surface like a blanket, pillow, duvet or your lap, the flow of air into the laptop is inhibited. *Subsequently, the cooling is reduced, heat builds up, the surface becomes hot and eventually the laptop overheats.
*This scenario is easily avoided by keeping the laptop on a hard and flat surface. You can use something as simple as a tray or get a special laptop holder or lap stand.
*Always turn off the laptop when not in use.