back to article In touching tribute to Samsung Note 7, fidget spinners burst in flames

Fad-crazed parents have something new to worry about, as reports suggest that fidget spinners can pose a fire risk. A family in the US says one of the smash-hit toys caught fire as it was charging its Bluetooth speaker in their home, and it only narrowly avoided becoming a much larger blaze. Kimberly Allums, of Gardendale, …

  1. fedoraman
    Flame

    There's an opportunity here

    How about this - a smallish, fire-proof box with a lid and small gap for the cable, that you can put your cheap e-cigarettes, Galaxy Note 7s, fidget spinners and Tesla battery packs (oops,no, too big), so you can leave them charging with complete peace of mind. If they do end up venting with flame, you don't lose the whole house whilst you're out. Think it'd sell?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      Make it big enough to accommodate a hoverboard and I think you have a product.

    2. Vulch

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      Quite common for RC aircraft/drone battery recharging. They're often rapidly recharged so even more danger of overheating and bursting in to flame.

      1. Kernel

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        A colleague has a simple procedure when charging R/C batteries - outside, on concrete, in a metal dish and with a large plastic bag of dry sand or cat litter on top of the batteries, just in case.

        I gather one of their club members lost his house from leaving one charging inside and unsupervised.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      Needs to have built in mains sockets as the plug top chargers (USA Wall warts) are a major cause of fire now.

      May need to be large enough for Whirlpool tumble driers and hotpoint fridge / freezers.

      Obviously the certification schemes (which MUST include random in shop / etailer sampling and tests) are rubbish.

      1. Chris 125

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        "Obviously the certification schemes (which MUST include random in shop / etailer sampling and tests) are rubbish."

        The certification schemes are good.

        But just try something for me.... head over to Google Image Search and try to find a CE logo. Loads of them, right? Plenty good enough to put on a box. Same with any other certification scheme you'd like to suggest.

        Sadly the enforcement seems to be the rubbish bit. I could market anything I wanted to with effectively zero chance of being caught using whatever marks I wanted to.

        1. LaeMing

          Re: There's an opportunity here

          CE logo, Chris 125? You mean the China Export logo? http://www.icomuk.co.uk/News_Article/3794/17103/

        2. 40k slimez

          Re: There's an opportunity here

          I'm sure when the UK GOV made that trade deal with china, basically it boiled down to:

          "You can sell us any old tat and we won't try to stop you....."

          Hence the certificate schemes have gone out of the window as cheap chinese "Gifs" flood the UK Market....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        if large enough to fit tumble driers, it should also acommodate the kitchen iself... no, think creative, down with the kitchen!

    4. ridley

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      Like the box fitted to the Dreamliner you mean? That ended well.

    5. vir

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      The real opportunity is Fidget Spinners: The Movie.

      A humble young fidget spinner ("Fidget", voiced by Channing Tatum) from the country is in danger of having his family's farm taken over by an evil land developer (Daniel Day-Lewis) who wants to turn it into a golf course. Just when Fidget is about to give up all hope, his grandma (Meryl Streep) tells him a story about his dearly-departed father (Liam Neeson, in flashback), who used to be a world-champion spinner but gave it all up to raise his family when a nefarious plot by a rival spinning team resulted in him being suspected for cheating he didn't commit (unsanctioned grease) - little Fidget has had the gift all along! And wouldn't you know it, the National Spinning League competition is being held next month in The Big City (Spinnerville? I dunno) and the grand prize is $50,000 - enough money to pay off the family's debts and save the farm!

      Obligatory Training Montage Scene (with Grammy-nominated original song by the Weeknd) wherein Fidget - along with his farmyard pals: Frankie the pig (Chris Pratt), Lila the goose (Elisha Cuthbert), and the grumpy bull Donnie (Dan Stevens) - unlocks the hidden potential that is his birthright. After a first few easy, confidence-building victories in the Junior Circuit, Fidget meets his match in Spinny (Zoe Saldana), the rich-kid fidget spinner from Spinnerville (I'm going with it) who has had a lifetime of training and the best spinning coaches money can buy.

      Fidget barely makes it to the semifinals but, the night before the final spinoff against Spinny, he sees some shadowy characters (Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer cameo) secretly swapping out Spinny's regulation grease for same unsanctioned grease that caused his own father to slip up (lots of puns in this movie) all those years ago! Now Fidget has to decide between saying nothing and exposing Spinny after she wins (implied that he won't be able to match her moves) or Doing The Right Thing. After some soul searching - and a surprise visit from a wise old retired spinner (Sam Elliott) - Fidget decides that he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he wins through trickery, even if he had nothing to do with it. Spinny is understandably wary when Fidget tells her about the plot to ruin her career but, after he shows her the evidence (pictures on an Huawei Honor, good product placement), they hatch a scheme to expose the crooks in front of everyone (no idea, not good at schemes) and it turns out that they've been in league with the evil land developer the whole time.

      After the highly irregular preceding events, the decision is made to award the championship to both Fidget and Spinner, who perform a doubles spinning routine based on some of the moves they used to thwart the crooks previously (Grammy WINNING original song by Adele). But the victory is bittersweet, as half the prize money isn't enough to save his family's farm. Fidget returns to the farm and, while making his tearful goodbyes to the only home he's ever known, wouldn't you know it, Spinner shows up and offers to help him in gratitude for having helped her! Fidget pays off the farm's debts and turns it into a school for training aspiring spinners like himself, Spinner goes on to have a successful career on the World Circuit (will they fall in love? wait for the sequel!), and the evil land developer gets thrown in jail.

      Cash only, no checks please.

      1. Captain Hogwash

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        Where have you really been Clive?

        1. danya02
          Flame

          Re: There's an opportunity here

          Indeed - BigClive.com's famous Explosion Containment Pie Dish was apparently made because of the dodgy lithium batteries. In fact, I just got my own!

      2. DropBear
        Joke

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        "The real opportunity is Fidget Spinners: The Movie."

        Dear Lord, what did I just watch... wait, WTF, I didn't even _watch_ anything! Sir, I'm gonna need you to put your hands behind your back, you're under arrest for section 14 paragraph 3 of the Mind Crimes Act, "attempt to plant false memories"...

      3. LewisRage

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        > Fidget Spinners: The Movie.

        Not only is this an amazing effort but having made a film out of the Battleships board game it's not even that unlikely that Hollywood will pick this up.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        "Cash only, no checks please."

        Brilliant! You have waaaaay too much time on your hands, even for a Friday!

      5. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        "The real opportunity is Fidget Spinners: The Movie."

        Who would you have direct it? Michael Bay, or Uwe Boll?

        1. vir

          Re: There's an opportunity here

          Given his fondness for explosions and in light of recent events, I think Michael Bay is the only logical choice.

      6. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Fidget Spinners: The Movie

        Sounds better than all the reboots, prequels and sequels coming out of Hollywood.

        Have you a website?

        You missed out bringing ME peace, allegedly one purpose of original invention was to occupy the hands of "stone" throwing Palestinians.

      7. bristolmoose

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        Hasn't Daniel Day-Lewis retired?

        Having said that, this surely could tempt him to reconsider. Although he would go all method as usual, become an evil businessman who wants to build a golf course nobody wants and who knows where that could end up?

      8. Pedigree-Pete
        Pint

        RE: Fidget

        Well done vir, thoroughly entertaining. Your Helldesk must be quieter than mine. :) Have another upvote and one of these. PP

    6. Public Citizen
      Go

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      Standard metal GI Ammo Can with a cutout between the lid and the container would do the job quite nicely.

      Since it has a handle on collapsible wire hinges it can be grabbed and moved to an outside location quickly and safely.

      Technical Note: Don't try this with one of the plastic copies. If it goes wahoonie shaped you will just have a portable fire, that being a plastic box with a fire inside that is in the process of melting and a convenient handle on the top so you can spread the melting plastic over a wider area.

      1. Steve Hersey

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        I rather prefer the clay pot approach, as a metal can gets hotter on the outside from the fire within (though it is indeed quite fine if placed on a concrete floor). A handle is nice, but for best safety, the container must survive total burnout of the battery without setting anything else on fire.

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        "Standard metal GI Ammo Can with a cutout between the lid and the container would do the job quite nicely."

        Excellent idea; I must still have a dozen or so in the garage anyway.

        (Don't ask.)

    7. sebt
      Unhappy

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      "Think it'd sell?"

      Only if it's connected to the Internet, and you can monitor it

      ! From AnyWhere In The World Through Your SmartPhone !

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        ! From AnyWhere! In The World! Through Your SmartPhone !!!!

        FTFY

    8. jason.bourne
      Thumb Up

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      Package with some foil wrap and 3 mini-bottles of different flavor bbq sauce with different herbs and spices. Include a grill on the top of your flame-proof box. Make a video with a football player grilling his favorite meat.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: There's an opportunity here

        "Make a video with a football player grilling his favorite meat."

        Ouch! That sounds painful. I even unconsciously crossed my legs in sympathy.

    9. Steve Hersey

      Re: There's an opportunity here

      The savvier R/C model fliers have known of this battery hazard for years. A Web search for "Lipo battery bunker" will show both commercial and home-built versions of fireproof charging containers for flight batteries. Some battery chargers make this a tad difficult by turning the charger into a wall-wart that the battery physically slots into, so the whole thing normally sits on the wall socket.

      I have little to no interest in the silly spinners, so the idea of electrifying them evokes only a goggle-eyed wonderment, followed by "Gee, I wonder if they can be hacked remotely to go poof."

  2. Flakk

    ...some are now being packaged with wireless Bluetooth speakers that require a battery charge to play music.

    I am absolutely mystified why these things have to be plugged in to be charged up. They're spinning toys. They should get their charge as a by-product of their primary function.

    1. frank ly

      But that would rapidly slow them down and so make them less 'cool' and desirable. What's needed is wireless charging via intense microwave radiation directed at the person playing with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But that would rapidly slow them down and so make them less 'cool' and desirable. What's needed is wireless charging via intense microwave radiation directed at the person's genitals playing with it.

        I always say we need more chlorine in the gene pool.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Such as

        a phased plasma rifle, in the 40w range?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even if they didn't have to be plugged in to be charged up, they'd still have a LiON battery, which is what catches on fire.

    3. DropBear
      Trollface

      ...okay, I'd like to patent "flip spinners", please - they have a supercap / brushless hub that's inactive for most of the time, but once the spinner has been spinning for a while it abruptly slows then spins up in the opposite direction, then keeps spinning for a while, then flips direction again...

  3. Vince Lewis 1

    So it was nothing but God that held us back....

    Really?

    The mythical beardy one was there in your living room stopping you from leaving?

    God: "Just wait a few more minutes, did I tell you about the time my son got lost in the desert? Sent one of my earlier creations down to offer him some food and water, flat out refused.... that's gratitude for you."

    It was luck, not divine intervention. I don't believe in the chap myself, but from a theological point of view the guys got a non-intervention thing going on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So it was nothing but God that held us back....

      I lost my house in a fire due to a fidget spinner all because I said "This fidget spinner is good enough for Jehovah"

      1. Santa from Exeter
        Big Brother

        Re: So it was nothing but God that held us back....

        He said Jehovah

        STONE HIM!!

        Icon because apparently he 'watches every sparrow that falls'

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Megaphone

          Re: So it was nothing but God that held us back....

          Look he said Jehovah!

          Stone Him!!

          (this could get a to be a very long thread)

        2. John G Imrie

          apparently he 'watches every sparrow that falls'

          That may explain why he missed Grenfell Tower, too busy watching bloody sparrows falling.

    2. Bucky 2

      Re: So it was nothing but God that held us back....

      If He wanted to destroy the fidget spinner without hurting the people, it would have been a whole lot less drama to just miracle the thing "lost." Or maybe let it fall into the toilet. Unless His power lacks precision.

      Just saying.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: So it was nothing but God that held us back....

        If He wanted to destroy the fidget spinner without hurting the people, it would have been a whole lot less drama to just miracle the thing "lost."

        Or, as the woman claims, if God was "saving "them, it'd be less hassle for him to stop the damn thing catching fire than going to all the trouble to make them late and ruin their whole day. But I'm sure she'd say it was teaching a lesson.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Do the spinner things actually exist?

    I've seen them all over teh medjias, but I've never seen one in person. Not that I think I'm missing much, of course.

    And Allums ... I guess everybody who isn't "held back by God" and loses a house due to an easily prevented fire is hated by God?

    1. stucs201

      Re: Do the spinner things actually exist?

      Yes they exist. Even according to rule 34...

    2. Jason Bloomberg
      Facepalm

      Re: Do the spinner things actually exist?

      Spinners arrived like locusts where I live. One day, nothing, the next; everywhere in abundance. Every market trader, street hawker, phone accessory and e-cig shop seems to have them stocked from floor to ceiling.

      "Toothpick crossbows" which can shoot metal needles tens of metres look set to become the next craze.

      In more ways than one -->

      1. LaeMing
        Facepalm

        Re: Toothpick crossbows.

        Rather glad I habitually wear safety glasses everywhere!

        agreed ---->

    3. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Do the spinner things actually exist?

      "I guess everybody who isn't "held back by God" and loses a house due to an easily prevented fire is hated by God?"

      Yes, absolutely; if your house burns down it's because God hates you. He also hates sparrows too, that's why he likes to watch them fall.

  5. Scott 29

    Hmmm

    He put a lithium fire out with water? That is a trick. #journalistsknowall

    1. Jon B

      Re: Hmmm

      If there is enough water and not much lithium it should do the trick eventually..

      1. ilmari

        Re: Hmmm

        There is no metallic lithium in Li-Ion batteries - normally.

        It is possible to generate metallic lithium by overcharging. This makes the battery quite volatile for future use.

        Another trick you can do is over discharge, which causes the copper to dissolve. On charging it back up again, the dissolved copper precipitates in random places, and may or may not cause a short. Slower version of Russian roulette.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Hmmm

      He put a lithium fire out with water? That is a trick. #journalistsknowall

      As I understand it, this is the advice for airline staff. Put overheating lithium batteries in metal container of water. It won't put the fire out, but will cool it, and stop it spreading.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    Cheap Chinese tat explodes while charging

    The lesson is: Stop buying it.

    1. DropBear
      Flame

      Re: Cheap Chinese tat explodes while charging

      ...also, so does definitely-not-cheap not-Chinese tat (Note 7) and blisteringly-expensive allegedly-opposite-of-Chinese-Murrica-Fuck-Yeah tat (Boeing Dreamliner). Say, maybe we should rethink this whole Li-Ion thing, old chap...?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cheap Chinese tat explodes while charging

        "....blisteringly-expensive allegedly-opposite-of-Chinese-Murrica-Fuck-Yeah tat "

        Actually they were made by GS yuasa in Japan.

        1. LaeMing
          Boffin

          Re: Cheap Chinese tat explodes while charging

          I believe the guy who invented lithium (without the ion) batteries is dissatisfied enough with the situation that he is presently in the process of inventing a whole new type of battery that is (ideally) less explodarific.

  7. Nimby
    Angel

    Divine Intervention

    He reached forth His Noodly Appendage, but lo, the Li-Ion was too darn hot, and so He said, "Sh--! Let someone NOT made of cookable pasta save your stupid a__ from cheap toys made in China!" And so it was that God stepped in to save them from their own ignorance instead, by making them late with His mysterious ways. (Because His other superpower, a thunderbolt from the sky, probably wouldn't have helped the situation all that much.) And from somewhere in China could be heard the combined laughter from the Trickster Gods Trading Co. Ltd. product factory chaired by Loki, Coyote, and Monkey.

    Or, maybe it was just that a cheap toy made in China had a less-than-perfect battery or charger that would have resulted in a fire at some point, and a family was running late as they pretty much always do, and it was all just a combination of inevitability and pure coincidence.

    Who is to say?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Once again, TBBT foretells the furture

    "Penny, EVERYTHING is better with Bluetooth"

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Once again, TBBT foretells the furture

      Life imitating art - in my experience that is usually a 50/50 chance that it'll all end in tears.

  9. hatti

    Ahhhh!, I love the smell of shoddily made, far eastern products in the morning

  10. Stratman

    Spinny things with loudspeakers?

    The Doppler effect must be wonderful, with everything sounding like Edith Piaf.

    I wonder what Donald Leslie would have made of them?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Spinny things with loudspeakers?

      Not sure, but he regretted nothing..

  11. TheManCalledStan

    Why does it need mains charging, shouldn't it be a case of an inductive coil and when they spin it'll charge and they get sound, insufficient spin and no sound!

    1. Luiz Abdala

      I'm thinking cell phone chargers. If you play, you get your phone charged. Or at least a flashlight.

  12. Haku

    Fidget spinners? Pah.

    Everyone knows office chairs are the original time wasting fidget spinners.

  13. Pollik

    "For those fortunate enough to be unaware"

    I take it that your bubble doesn't include people on the austistic spectrum or who are ADHD?

    1. Swarthy
      Headmaster

      Therapeutic vs fad craze

      "Fortunate enough to be unaware" can have a few meanings. If you are fortunate that your loved ones don't require the therapeutic devices, then you may not be aware; once it hit the fad stage then you are fortunate if you don't have kids flicking, spinning, dropping, etc. the toy all around you.

      Nothing with Bluetooth speakers is therapeutic.

  14. James 36
    Flame

    spinners

    why the fuck would you want a bluetooth enabled fidget spinner ??

    I mean the audio quality must be amazing ..

    FFS

  15. CbD1234567890

    The BOFH noted the fire angle a long time ago. Sounds like an imminent case of "not a bug - it's a feature!" syndrome...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm At A Loss

    Why on God's green earth would anyone put a bluetooth speaker in a fidget spinner?

    Just to put a battery in something that doesn't need one?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lithium-based batteries are the curse and bottleneck of modern technology

    They're the reason why wearables/smartwatches hadn't taken off.

    They're the reason why we're enslaved to constantly recharging our device.

    They're the reason why the Samsung Note 7 fiasco happened.

    They're the season why batteries are the first to be replaced within 1-2 years when the rest of the hardware is still working perfectly fine.

    They're the reason why we produce a mountain of toxic lithium waste.

    If there's no conspiracy of planned forced obsolescence or evil lithium battery manufacturer overlords holding the tech world ransom, I do hope the world graduates from last century's battery technology.

    Maybe sea salt battery. Maybe silicone battery. Whatever it is, we need to move on from lithium.

    1. W4YBO

      Re: Lithium-based batteries are the curse and bottleneck of modern technology

      It's not the chemistry, it's the energy density. And the next battery will give us higher energy density.

  18. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    I prefer ...

    ... the classic, non IoT fidget toys.

  19. NonSSL-Login

    America

    So spinners will now be added to the US no fly list.

    That bearded arab playing with the spinner hear his shoes just has ADHD mate, nothing to worry about.

  20. Deltics
    Coat

    Cute story...

    ... just a shame that you had to reach for an "internet of things" angle in the content when a "shoddy batteries" angle was all that was actually relevant.

  21. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    You call that a fidget spinner?

    THIS is a fidget spinner. (Probably doesn't habe Bluetooth, though.)

  22. LaeMing
    Boffin

    Fidget Spinners!

    I get the feeling it all started with a late cancellation for 2 billion 15mm bearings.

    How the hell can we shift 2 billion low-quality 15mm bearings! Hang on lads... I have an idea!

  23. Robert Baker
    Coat

    Why would a fidget spinner need speakers?

    Perhaps in order to play tracks by The Spinners?

    (Liverpool or Detroit, take your pick — Amazon doesn't seem to know the difference...)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me guess...

    Nobody measured how many G's you can apply over electronics housed in fidget spinners.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it went above 100 G. Electronics that are already prone to burst into flames even when they are not submitted to higher degrees of acceleration, are now regularly submitted to several thousand RPM for, let's say, 60 seconds at a time. What can go wrong?

    Unless they are housed in the static center. I hope so. So we are dealing just with cheap Chinese components.

    Only SD cards that I heard are certified to survive 1000G acceleration, by the way.

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