back to article Samsung Galaxy S3 explodes, turns young woman into 'burnt pig'

A young Swiss woman reportedly received second and third degree burns when her Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone exploded in her trousers. According to a report in the French-language Le Matin of Lausanne, Switzerland, 18-year-old Fanny Schlatter was on her job as an apprentice painter, loading paint cans into her boss' truck, when …

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  1. LarsG
    Meh

    'Fanny Schlatter', you just couldn't make a name like that up could you!

    Her boss wasn't by any chance a Brazilian was he?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Sounds standard Swiss to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Galaxy S3 - The Samsung equivalent of Jersey Shore

      @LarsG - If she really looks like a burnt pig she'll be changing her name to Snooki ..

    3. PJI
      FAIL

      You must be American, so sweet. In English, Fanny is short for a couple of names, including Myfanwy, not uncommon at one time and no snigger value in that context, also not in Swiss, as opposed to Randy, for example, that is popular in American but has considerable snigger value in UK.

      Schatter is fairly standard, again snigger value only to Yanks. Really, you are culturally ignorant. Get over it and get educated. I assume you are a little older than three years old.

      1. Gray Ham

        Around here (Aus), Myfanwy is usually shortened to "Myfy" or "Miffy" - to avoid the snigger value of shortening it to "Fanny".

        Personally, I'm happy that this beautiful name seems to be having a slight resurgence here - I know several Myfanwys, all in their late teens/early 20s.

      2. 0_Flybert_0
        Coat

        eh .. eh .. he said ..

        snigger .. eh .. eh ..

        Randy has the same connotation in the USA .. is Schatter even a word ? .. never heard it ..

        Thanks for sharing about Fanny though .. you need a degree in the UK to know such things ?

        checking the coat to be sure my S3's not hot

      3. kain preacher

        How cute PJI you must be one of those brits that think all Americans are dumb while assume slang in the UK means the same in the US. Every hear of fannie mae. Most American would associate the word Fanny with the people that help screw over the economy by encouraging bad loans.

        It would be more likely that LarsG is from the UK and not America as Fanny just does not mean the same thing in America.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Fannie != Fanny.

          1. kain preacher

            Close enough that most people would not get the distinction in America.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Fanny is short for a couple of names" - most notably 'cunt' of course.

        1. El Trisco Smythe

          You owe me a new keyboard matey boy!

          Note to self - DO NOT DRINK WHILST READING COMMENTS ON EL REG!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Epic fail...

        Sorry PJI, but you're displaying your own cultural ignorance there. "Fanny" in Septic English means "bum" in English - as in "fanny pack". No Merkin would therefore snigger at it in the same way as the OP (with the "Brazilian" reference). It's much more sniggerworthy in English English. Normally they say if a joke has to be explained, it's not funny, but in this case it appears to be because you've had a sense of humour bypass. Yes, it's juvenile, puerile even, but I love the way you're typo ("Schatter") makes it funnier.

        1. Homer 1
          Headmaster

          Re: "Fanny means bum in English"

          You mean Americanese, a language originally based on English, but which deviated over the centuries into something roughly comparable to a monosyllabic Neanderthal grunt.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Fanny means bum in English"

            No, I meant the English translation of the Merkin word "fanny" is "bum". Which I could've put more clearly.

            1. Homer 1
              Headmaster

              Re: "Fanny means bum in English"

              And, confusingly, the Americanese "bum" means "tramp" (as in a homeless person, not a loose woman) in English. There's also this thing called a "bum rap", the meaning of which I must admit completely eludes me, although if I had to guess then I'd say it was a form of music involving drumsticks and a brave volunteer's posterior.

              About the only thing Americanese has in common with English these days is its alphabet, and even then I'd imagine Mercans resent having a whole 26 letters when a few vowels would serve them just as well, or possibly a few choice hieroglyphs (gun, gangsta, sex, money, nyancat, etc.).

              1. Curtis

                Re: "Fanny means bum in English"

                I never heard the gleuteous maximus being referred to as a "bum" until I started reading stuff from GB. It was always "butt" "or "ass". And, from what I've been told, "fanny" is a slang term for the vulva.

                and a "bum rap" usually referred to a trumped up charge to harass someone, such as a charge a LEO would use to run a "bum" (beggar, bindlestiff etc) in, such as the charge in my lovely home that if you do not have $5 in your wallet, or a credit/debit card, you can be arrested as a vagrant

          2. sisk
            Headmaster

            Re: "Fanny means bum in English"

            You mean Americanese, a language originally based on English, but which deviated over the centuries into something roughly comparable to a monosyllabic Neanderthal grunt.

            Actually Americanese is much closer to 18th century English than the English spoken in the UK, thanks mostly to the proliferation of dictation teachers in England in the 19th century who rather radically changed the way Brits speak by pushing their version of 'correct' English (which didn't actually exist in real usage when the US first became the US).

            1. Homer 1
              Headmaster

              Re: "Americanese closer to real English"

              Yo bro, don be dissin my say, cos I 86 yo mofo ass!

              Hmm, is that really how 18th century Englishmen spoke?

              Although, as unintelligible as that gibberish is, it pales in comparison to Mercan Marketese, which has the irritating habit of omitting both the indefinite article and plural, a linguistic device defined (by Mercans, naturally) as "zero-marking". E.g. "we give value", "we have good product" - presumably as a religious mark of reverence for all things pertaining to money.

              As a side note: Isn't it amazing where discussing fannies will lead you?

      6. Jim 59

        @PJI

        bit heavy on the snobbery, don't you think ?

        1. Spoonsinger

          Re: @PJI - bit heavy on the snobbery, don't you think ?

          front bottom!

    4. Blubster
      Happy

      @LarsG

      'Fanny Schlatter', you just couldn't make a name like that up could you!

      Not as good as Fanny Chmelar

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwGFX5pgXw

  2. Dick Pountain

    Actually the Devil made up her name to tempt us from the paths of political correctness - get thee behind me!

  3. Don Jefe
    Happy

    Sweater?

    Who wears a sweater when they are painting? The phone probably committed suicide because of the gross disregard for trade professional attire protocol.

    I am glad she didn't catch on fire completely though or that she didn't light off the paint.

    1. crashtest
      FAIL

      Re: Sweater?

      She wasn't painting.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Sweater?

        "Fanny Schlatter was on her job as an apprentice painter, loading paint cans into her boss' truck, when her smartphone exploded in her trousers."

        So you didn't read the article. Good show.

        1. Danny 14
          FAIL

          Re: Sweater?

          She was loading paint cans NOT painting, can you even read your own quote? As an apprentice she gets all the crap jobs and probably doesnt do much painting. I imagine the sweater was old so she didnt care if it got trashed etc.

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Cochon brûlé

    I can't think of many things as bad as burnt Fanny..

    Sorry, but that just had to to be said......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cochon brûlé

      Her Beef Curtains were medium well done?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: Cochon brûlé

        Oh please, I need someone to get that image out of my mind.

    2. Scroticus Canis
      Mushroom

      Re: Cochon brûlé

      Well done "long-pig"! The Caribbean indians called Europeans long-pig based on taste (canabalistic). Same smell you get when people die in fires.

      In any event poor Fanny's bandages go all the way up to her fanny whether it be the English or American translation.

  5. 123pest

    And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

    Apple are significant...

    1. Don Jefe
      WTF?

      Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

      Apple is a significant significant company, yes. However the iPhone has had its share of melting/exploding batteries. Go back and read the article for relevant links.

    2. ThomH

      Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

      This is a risk with all lithium-ion batteries; Apple uses the same chemistry as everyone else.

      Assuming external chargers are available then technically this is a reason to pick the Samsung over the Apple — the S3 (and indeed the S4) both have removable batteries so you could keep the phone next to your bed in case of emergencies on one battery while your other charges in some other part of the house. Charging tends to heat batteries so therefore is an occasion when the risk of combustion very slightly increases.

      1. PJI

        Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

        Charging? It was in her pocket, while she was carrying paint from one place to another. Tell us about this charger, could be useful.

        1. Ian Yates

          Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

          Err... there are hundreds of travel chargers... I have one for exactly the situation when I'm using the phone heavily (screen always on + GPS, for instance) on the go.

      2. Allan George Dyer
        Coat

        "Apple uses the same chemistry as everyone else."

        But their molecules have rounded corners.

      3. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

        Quote: Charging tends to heat batteries so therefore is an occasion when the risk of combustion very slightly increases.

        Err... All well designed lithium batteries have a thermal control on the charging circuit. In fact for some applications they _HAVE_ to have one. In any case, this one exploded not while being charged so this is not likely to have anything to do with charging.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

      I don't bu iPhones and I'll thank you not to imply otherwise.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Goldmember

      Re: And THIS is why you bu an iPhone.

      iPhones are made using exactly the same battery tech as every other manufacturer. There have been many cases of them blowing up, such as this one from last year:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/03/iphone_spontaneously_combusts_on_cctv/

      You idiot.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Is it advisable to douse a rapidly decomposing lithium battery with water???

    1. Don Jefe
      Boffin

      Water is actually the best thing to use to extinguish a lithium battery fire as it is one of the only suppressants that cools the battery enough to inhibit the thermal runaway. After water, in order of effectivness : Halon, CO2, them wet foam.

      The biggest risk with water is that of molten lithium and/or plastic splatter but it stops the fire. The others may halt the flames temporarily but unless the thermal runaway is controlled first it will burst into flames again in short order.

      1. N13L5
        Mushroom

        If you had a burning phone in your back pocket, wouldn't you drop your pants in an instant?

        Rather than hop up and down with your mouth open till your boss comes over and walks you to a bathroom in a nearby store???

        Think about how long it takes to walk into a store and into the bathroom, not to mention whatever time it took for your boss to become alerted and walk over to grab you?

        What would she have done if her boss didn't come? Just stand there and wait till she was ready for dinner?

      2. P. Lee
        Trollface

        BOFH FAIL

        Should have gone with Halon.

      3. Kristian Walsh Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        @Don Jefe

        Good tip. Thanks for going against the norm and actually providing useful information in the comments section of a Reg article about phones.

      4. Scott Pedigo
        Holmes

        "Water is actually the best thing to use to extinguish a lithium battery fire as it is one of the only suppressants that cools the battery enough to inhibit the thermal runaway. After water, in order of effectivness : Halon, CO2, them wet foam."

        Thanks for the useful info. To be pedantic, you should probably have said "lithium ion" rather than "lithium" although for batteries, the latter implies the former. You really don't want to pour water on pure lithium - that will actually cause an explosion, which I'm sure you know, but your target audience might not.

        1. sisk

          You really don't want to pour water on pure lithium - that will actually cause an explosion

          That was one of my favorite days in chemistry class.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          To be even more pedantic you should have said lithium cobalt oxide.

    2. Nick De Plume

      Water is bad for dousing out an oil fire (say, your fried french), because being of lower density and of liquid disposition, such materials will rise up for continued breathing when faced with such attempts.

      Water is good for dousing out quite a number of stuff actually. Even the firemen still use it.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Nick De Plume

        In addition, burning oil is often hotter than the boiling temperature of water, so putting water on an oil fire just spreads and atomises the burning oil. This can be fun if observed from a distance.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    Gentlemen, gentlemen,

    What's happening? Had this been an Apple device, we'd be seeing boring post after boring post about how shocking and sub standard this is.

    So why are we just seeing puerile jokes from you freetards? Anyone would thing you're full of it...

    1. Cliff

      Re: Oh dear

      You lost me at Freetard posted as an anonymous coward.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Oh dear

      Tsk Do pay attention.. It's commentard dear boy, commentard .. Freetards are a completely different species.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear

        Yes a freetard who spends over £350 on a mobile. Brava.

    3. Mark .

      Re: Oh dear

      Why speculate? Why not go and read the story where it happened with an Apple device, as linked from the article.

      Guess what? Not a single person criticises the device as being sub-standard or whatever. OTOH, *this* story has at least one person claiming that Apple devices would be immune.

      (There were criticisms, and rightly so, at the alleged attempts to cover it up.)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I one for needed

    Google to translate that.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Well I one for needed

      "Well I one for needed

      Google to translate that."

      Me too. I thought it was a sexual reference...

  9. MrXavia

    Interesting, the back case is not standard for sure... looks like metal in there? is it a non-samsung Qi charger adaptor or similar? for that matter is the battery an official one? I am always VERY cautious with anything non official when it comes to batteries...

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      My first thoughts as well - is it the original battery, and, if not, is it a genuine Samsung replacement?, followed by does she use the original charging mechanism, and has she "personalised" the case? These are relevant and important questions, even though any tech has a finite failure rate, and a completely genuine, properly cared-for battery has a chance of catastrophic failure.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only a matter of time, and lack of protection.

    A switched on phone sends out microwaves which make heat, and may even emit even more heat when the phone gets busy or crashes, a pocket keeps heat in, sounds like only a matter of time before a phone battery overheats in a phone and shorts out!

    Having a very reactive metal in a battery pack in a thermoplastic case, close to your skin, sounds really stupid. Unfortunately this is common,so these gadgets should be properly designed to protect people e.g. a flame and explosion resistant battery case with a pressured gas canister surround to put out a burning battery, and a thin layer of flame proof glass-fibre sheet in the outer phone case, especially at the back of the phone, because generally the phone is put in a pocket with the screen facing outwards, and the battery is usually at the back of the phone, ouch!

    1. ~mico
      Happy

      Re: generally the phone is put in a pocket with the screen facing outwards

      I, for one, usually put the phone in the pocket with screen facing inwards. In this case, I can put other stuff in that pocket, like keys, not fearing for the screen being scratched. This article just gave another reason for it being the safe way.

    2. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Re: Only a matter of time, and lack of protection.

      I prefer to carry my phone on a belt-clip holster. If I hear it pop, I could theoretically just rip the holster off my belt and throw it away, or in the worst case simply unbuckle my belt, drop my pants and run. Ok, that last scenario might be awkward, but rather do that than have myself burnt to a crisp. And I never carry my phone on any pocket!

      Also, if I ever feel my phone getting extremely hot, I'm pulling out the battery. If it's starting to do something else (like er... generating smoke) I'll just throw the phone before it blows up!

      1. hplasm
        Linux

        Re: @ Daniel B.

        "unbuckle my belt, drop my pants and run."

        Icon - because... :)

    3. N13L5
      Devil

      Re: Only a matter of time, and lack of protection.

      These occasional battery explosions are just HAARP test runs for the eventual population reduction.

      Once they are ready, they will ignite all phones remotely by bouncing high power radio waves off the stratosphere, igniting everybody's phones all at once.

      They're just waiting for still higher market penetration in 3rd world countries.

    4. mr.K

      Re: Only a matter of time, and lack of protection.

      A switched on phone doesn't really send out all that much microwaves. An infrequent burst to the phone company to let them know where you are, how you are and if your kids are alright, but not much data in that. Also these microwaves would transmit perfectly well past the fabric and heat up water and fat they encounter outside the pocket. Some might even reach an antenna out there somewhere. In addition the juice actually spent on generated these microwaves ain't actually all that.

      Oh wait...you want an explosion resistant casing with a pressurized gas canister that can put out a selfsustaining chemical burn...is your comment ironic?

    5. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Only a matter of time, and lack of protection. @OP AC

      You sound like one of those elfin safety idiots that want to make life difficult just to gain a minor gain in safety. Mobile phones are supposed to be ... well, mobile. By the time all those "improvements" you mention were incorporated, we'd be back to the brick-phones of the early 1990s.

      I can't tell if you are being serious or sarcastic, but I downvoted you just in case you *are* a genuine safety elf, because if human history had been plagued with safety elves, we wouldn't have had fire or the wheel ...

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Only a matter of time, and lack of protection. @OP AC

        Fire hot.

  11. dssf

    A Super..

    Super No Va

    Event of cosmic pro portions...

  12. Steven Roper

    Increased energy density leads to increased risk

    Battery technology today has come a long way from what it was when I was a kid. Today's smartphones are computers in their own right, and they chew a lot of juice. We complain about having to charge our phones on a daily basis, but I'd imagine if we tried to run our phones off of the kind of AA, C or D cell batteries that ran my toys as a child, they wouldn't even last that long.

    Today's flatpack lithium batteries pack a lot of oomph into a very small package. If that oomph gets out all at once, it's not at all surprising that explosions and third degree burns are the result. And the more we pack into these tiny powerhouses, the bigger the explosions are going to get.

    I've seen people on these forums wishing for batteries that they only need charge once a week. Now if we assume that this is because you have to charge your phone on a daily basis, you're talking about a sevenfold increase in energy density. That means, if your battery goes pop, seven times the explosion. Which, if this example is anything to go by, results in walking around with a battery capable of lasting a week being the functional equivalent of having a stick of dynamite in your pocket.

    Inevitably energy density will increase to and beyond this point, but it is something to keep in mind. I personally would rather have to remember to charge my phone each day, than not have to worry about it for a week in exchange for the very real risk of having my entire leg blown off. Or the risk of having essentially the same effect on those around me as a suicide bomber!

    1. Katie Saucey
      Happy

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      Your comment made think of StarTrek.."..RUN! The phaser is set to overload!"

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      "Or the risk of having essentially the same effect on those around me as a suicide bomber!"

      They already are - if they are packing a laptop. Some of the bigger high capacity batteries are on par with a hand grenade as it is.

      1. Return To Sender
        Mushroom

        Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

        "...on par with a hand grenade as it is"

        Exactly my thought when going through Heathrow security recently with a colleague who was carrying a USB powerpack (i.e. big battery with USB connectors) in his kit. I was sure he'd get stopped, and he was - although not 'cos of the pack, as it turns out.

        Checking the present regs, you can actually carry on batteries up to 100Wh. My colleague's pack was about 40Wh, and comfortably hand sized. Strikes me you can take quite a lot of energy in a small space; I'd be more bothered about these letting loose in the overhead lockers. Don't know if there's any sort of knock-on possible, but I think I'll be keeping my devices as separate as possible in-flight.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. monkeyfish

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      Since battery tech is essentially plateaued (or moving forward very slowly) in comparison to processor/screen tech, I'd say I don't want a 7x battery increase, but a 7x processor/screen efficiency increase.

    4. Craigie

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      Except even the best batteries today only have the same energy density as a bar of chocolate, and I can't remember the last time a dairymilk exploded in my pocket.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk @Craigie

        But in order to liberate that energy from a chocolate bar, you need to oxidise (i.e. burn) it in one way or another, and you need atmospheric oxygen, so you ought to take the mass of that into account as well.

        Chocolate can be made to burn if you try hard enough, but I'd love to see you 'recharge' your burnt chocolate bar.

        But the nature of a battery means that you cannot take the cheap route of just setting light to it. I suspect that the calorific value of oxidising the components of a battery may be even higher than the rated re-usable capacity of a battery.

        In short, you're not comparing like figures.

        1. Don Jefe
          Happy

          Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk @Craigie

          Chocolate can be made to burn if you try hard enough...

          Yes it can. Burning with open flame, not melting mind, baking chocolate will make you very, very ill if you inhale the fumes. Weird huh? It also still cannot be recharged.

      2. A J Stiles
        Mushroom

        Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

        I can't remember the last time a dairymilk exploded in my pocket
        Maybe not in the pocket. But if you were to grind one to a fine powder (easier if chilled) and disperse it in air, it would go up very nicely.

        Icon shows what sometimes happens to custard factories .....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

          Same for flour and many powdered things. Even sugar can be used for rockets. Anything with energy in it.

          1. Dick Pountain

            Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

            Everfything has enegy in it (even a rock, even Sprite Zero)

    5. mr.K

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      You are right that this is something to keep in mind, and I gather that some promising new high density battery technology might get very limited use due to this. However, it is quite possible that they manage to find chemical reactions that can't go fast enough for this to happen. The other way is that you only carry with you the fuel and you take oxygen from the air. This will remove the chance that it will do a "thermal runaway" as they call it with lithium batteries.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      "We complain about having to charge our phones on a daily basis, but I'd imagine if we tried to run our phones off of the kind of AA, C or D cell batteries that ran my toys as a child, they wouldn't even last that long."

      Well, a modern D cell alkaline has a capacity around 16,000mAh, so around 7 times the capacity of a typical lithium polymer cell. Obviously the form factor isn't going to work very well for a nice thin smartphone, and the actual energy density isn't much different.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

      Once a day?

      WTF?

      My old Orange SanFrancisco used to get between 2 and 4 days on a charge - ususlly nearer 4. My Huawei Ascend G300 gets 5-6 days.

      But, there again, i don't use it as a social crutch.

  13. Paul L Daniels

    Flaming Apples

    I do iPhone repair work here; had a client supply me with their own replacement back for an iP4S rather than letting me supply. When I fit it, and then removed it a little while later (testing) I could smell that tell-tale sweet smell that means "electrolyte is leaking", didn't think too much of it because a lot of new lithium batteries have it slightly. When I placed the rear panel back on again the phone shut down... and THEN I smelt the all too familar frying electronics magic-smoke-escaped scent, the battery was p*ssed and the phone was about to go up in smoke!

    In the end, the phone was saved; the fault was that the customer-supplied rear panel was an ultra cheapy and the die-punch did not cleanly cut out one of the holes in the embedded metal shield, leaving a raised burr. That burn cut in to the battery, released the electrolyte and started a nice bit of trouble. Close call really, another minute and it'd likely have been a pile of ash on the pile of ash that would be my workshop.

  14. Tex Arcana

    It might be time to start some serious research into lithium batteries, and ways to make them safer. I bought an cordless electric lawn mower, and I elected to go with the lead-acid battery model because the heat here in Texas would kill a big lithium--if not me when it goes POP! :-(

    1. no_RS

      Make them safer

      There is not a shadow of a doubt that li-po batteries in their current form are becoming problematic, most cells are just contained in an insulated aluminiun bag so if something goes wrong there is no containment, so we end up relying on the product enclosure to contain the failing cells. Most people treat car batteries with a bit of respect because they understand some of the risks but abuse mobile devices.

      As most products that contain these batteries are made of plastic, the device just becomes a very hot molten mess that sticks to people's skin and makes a very nasty injury.

      It is accidents like the one in this article that make me only buy genuine batteries/chargers for phones and other devices just on the basis of better battery costruction that is less likely to fail.

      I would also point out that in Europe there aren't any specific safety standards for lithium ion batteries, there are in the US because of the problems these things cause, maybe the EU will wake up to the danger these things presnt and do something about it.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Make them safer

        Considering the ubiquitous nature of lithium batteries and how terribly they are abused they are really safe. When you consider there are hundreds of millions of them out there and how little they experience catastrophic failure I think this is a case that doesn't need more government imposed 'safety' regulation.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Fanny burned her fanny?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      She otto not have put it inna pocket :)

  16. tomban
    Mushroom

    LiPo's rule...

    ...but incorrect handling can cause hilarity to ensue:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9mcNvOGKtI

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rational Explanation

    She's a painter's assistant and painters generally clean their brushes with white spirit.

    As we all know, white spirit is highly combustible/easily "goes off".

    Jeans on the other hand are generally flaccid.

    SCENARIO

    Sat down to rub her brushes clean (oh yes) spilling "white spirit" all over her f***y - not thinking that the heat emitted from her 'phone' would have an effect on the 'white spirit'.

    THEN

    Text receipt=Vibration in her f***y

    BINGO!!!! HELLO!! An explosion from her FFFF***YYY!

    fnaar fnaar ;-)

  18. Crisp

    What's the proper way to put out a lithium fire?

    I am not a chemist, but I remember from school that water and lithium is generally a bad combination. Is water really the safest way to put out a battery fire?

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: What's the proper way to put out a lithium fire?

      Lithium reacts Gently in water, fizzing. It's Sodium that has an energetic reaction to Water. Lithium reactions in Water create Hydroxide and Hydrogen.

      1. Crisp

        Re: What's the proper way to put out a lithium fire?

        Awesome :) El Reg really is an education sometimes. Also, see the comment way way above this one about water inhibiting the thermal runaway.

  19. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    A gastronomic discovery

    Pied de cochon brule!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shamsung

    Oh well, at least the battery is replaceable on the S3

  21. ukgnome
    Coffee/keyboard

    How can you feel a strange chemical smell?

    1. Don Jefe

      You can hear it coming, there's plenty of time to get out of the way.

  22. Electric sheep

    This is exactly why I never put a phone in my front pocket. Ans last time I said this on here I got down votes so please down vote away :-)

    1. Nasty Nick
      Happy

      One down vote as requested - but I don't see the front or back pocket question as a big deal.

      1. Swarthy

        Which Pocket?

        I keep my phone in a cargo pocket, lots of room, and air; also nothing else goes into that pocket, so no scratches or dings.

  23. Tom 7

    Is it the battery?

    If it was transmitting in her trousers or otherwise using power then it is possible it merely overheated due to being insulated too well.

  24. Will 20

    Re: What's the proper way to put out a lithium fire?

    Lithium reacts Gently in water, fizzing. It's Sodium that has an energetic reaction to Water. Lithium reactions in Water create Hydroxide and Hydrogen.

    Depends on the amount of Lithium. The actual amount in a Laptop or Mobile phone battery, means that using water to fight one of these isn't that bad an idea - the amount of hydrogen released isn't probably enough to cause a major danger.

    Ideally, Dry Powder should be used, and then CO2, water/foam.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      I would be extremely wary of firing a CO2 extinguisher at a human being in the (admittedly unlikely, but possibly in a closed space) event I starve them of oxygen.

      Also, this was a panic situation - I too, thought "water on a lithium fire, not a good idea" but honestly, your options in the situation described are limited.

  25. Jo 5
    Joke

    Gives new meaning to the term 'thunder thighs' .

    (I am not being unkind - I prefer a girl with big legs, oo oo suit you)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wanting to find out more about this human interest story, I naturally had a quick look for Fanny on Google Images. Naturally, I found what I was looking for. When uncovered, it looks really sore. Its certainly a gaping, discoloured mess, and seems to be eminating some unpleasant discharge. I'm willing to bet it doesn't smell any too fresh either. The burn looks quite painful as well.

  27. Stuart Halliday
    Mushroom

    My own S3 got hot after it dropped off my car phone holder.

    I knew about Lithium batteries and their dangers of being dropped or damaged.

    So I put the battery in a ceramic pot in the garden. By morning it had bulged dramatically.

    After I was satisfied it wasn't going to blow up, I disposed of it correctly.

    Don't drop your phone as the crystals inside the battery can cause a short circuit. Common sense. :)

  28. adam payne

    That's really going to hurt, good thing her boss kept a level head and put the fire out.

    Thankfully i've never had this happen to me.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samdung... say no more.

    Maybe that's why you need a removable battery? so you can lob it like a grenade.

  30. WatAWorld

    I wonder if a flammable solvent got on the phone

    I wonder if perhaps a flammable solvent got on or in the phone.

    Any word on what kind of paints and solvents she had been working with that day?

    The episode should be examined and that should be one part of it.

  31. Stevie

    Bah!

    *Why* wouldn't I need you to translate that? You translated everything else under the impression I didn't speak Cheese-Scarfing Surrender-Monkey.

    Sackray blur!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pail of sand

    Radio Control modelers have been using high energy Lithium Polymer batteries for years for electric powered models because of the good energy/weight ratio, and they use fast charging practices. Battery fires are fairly common. The standard practice is to keep a pail of sand handy and pitch any flaming battery into the sand. Of course, that hobby is mostly done outdoors, so there isn't a worry about smoking up one's home.

  33. Arachnoid

    Elf and safety

    Im sure some Health and Safety bod will take note of the accident then blame it all on the young girl

  34. Rosco

    Missing the obvious

    Dear oh dear, 94 comments and not one of you has thought to call her a liar.

    Losing your touch, you lot.

  35. Anal Leakage

    A Sammy blows up on someone and the highest rated posts are Apple disses. Reg Readers, don't ever change...

  36. Richard Pennington 1

    Electrical fires and water ...

    Water isn't very good for electrical fires ... and the innards of a lithium battery aren't very water-friendly either.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Natural Selection

    Mobile phone users blowing up their genitals...

    Nature is trying to tell us something.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    I had an S2 battery which "just died" a while back, symptoms were sudden loss of capacity then it just stopped charging.

    Took it out of storage and it was measuring zero volts, possibly internally shorted.

    Come to think of it, the "sweet electrolyte smell" might have been present when it initially failed, had that happen before with damaged model packs after an oops event similar to that described with the Iphone battery.

    A good way to tell that a battery is near failure is to see if it holds its specified charge.

    If it doesen't (compared to known good original replacement) then assume it is damaged and run it down safely and ideally dispose of responsibly.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK guys and gals

    If anyone is interested, I have an idea for a Kickstarter.

    Use e-nose technology to detect failing Li-Po/Li-ion cells in people's houses, cars etc before they catch on fire by detecting the unique scent of the electrolyte.

    Electrolyte leakage is proportional to cell damage, if the cell is starting to puff then the seals typically become porous and it escapes.

    Might work, something like a smoke alarm with more sensors (ionisation, e-nose with enhanced combustion sensors, etc) and fits into an existing light socket.

    Can be calibrated for the house it is in so false alarms simply don't happen.

    AC/DC No DisaSseMblE

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