Remote-control toy explodes while charging: Family urges other parents to be careful
A toy that was being charged caused a battery explosion that started a fire in a child's room. How did this happen, and can it be prevented?
These days, rechargeable batteries are a common feature of most toys and gadgets. However, did you know that these can potentially cause a battery explosion?
One family shares the story of how a simple remote-controlled car almost caused severe injury to their child and burned down their house.
12-year-old Austin Harnish from Colorado loves to play with his remote-controlled cars. Since he’s too young to drive, he satisfies his need for speed by driving his cars around their house and their neighbourhood.
But one day, while Austin was playing at a nearby park, one of the cars that he was charging in his room suddenly exploded and burst into flames.
His mother, Melanie Harnish, shares, “I came up the stairs and our whole second floor was full of smoke and there were flames shooting out of his bedroom, I completely panicked. I ran down the stairs as fast as I could screaming fire.”
She grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to put out the flame, but she was too nervous to even take the pin out.
Austin’s dad, Jeff Harnish, sprang into action by unplugging the charger and putting out the fire using the fire extinguisher.
Their neighbors called 911, and soon enough, firefighters were at their home.
Jeff shares, “If we weren’t home it’d be a way different story.”
The family hopes that other parents will be extra careful when it comes to these types of toys.
A battery explosion can happen due to a number of reasons. In some cases, it can be a faulty charger or a faulty battery. Sometimes it can be caused by mishandling a charger, or overcharging a battery for too long.
Either way, it’s important for parents to be aware of these dangers and to know what they can do to minimise the risk.
Here are some safety tips:
- Never leave batteries out in the open. Children can play with these batteries, or even swallow them, which can cause severe injuries.
- If a toy or gadget has leaking batteries, it’s best to throw it out since it can be a potential fire hazard.
- Never leave any chargers unattended and unplug them when the battery is full. Overcharging can sometimes overload the battery and cause an explosion.
- Batteries or toys and gadgets with built-in batteries should never be thrown in the trash. They should be taken to a recycling facility to be processed.
- Make sure that the battery compartments of gadgets and toys are secure and shut.
- If you see any bloated or damaged batteries, it’s best to take them out.
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