Keep Your Gadgets Cool with These Tips in this Extreme Summer Heat

Recent reports have highlighted incidents of mobile phones igniting after overheating, and there have been alarming videos of air conditioners catching fire and causing significant damage. 

Kapish Khajuria
New Update
tips for gadgets

With temperatures soaring above 50 degrees Celsius in northern India, the extreme heat poses a significant risk to electronic devices, which can overheat and even catch fire. Recent reports have highlighted incidents of mobile phones igniting after overheating, and there have been alarming videos of air conditioners catching fire and causing significant damage. 


As summer temperatures climb to unprecedented levels, both humans and their gadgets suffer. Devices such as smartphones, laptops, TVs, and even air conditioners are vulnerable to overheating, which can potentially lead to fires. Understanding why devices overheat and taking proactive measures can help mitigate these risks.

Why do devices overheat?

Electronic devices, including smartphones and air conditioning units, naturally produce heat during operation. In high temperatures, the cooling systems in these devices, such as fans and heat sinks, can struggle to keep up, leading to overheating. This can damage internal components and in severe cases, cause fires.


This is why airlines restrict carrying electronics and power banks in checked baggage, preferring they be kept in cabin baggage to mitigate fire risks from pressure or temperature changes. In extreme heat, high ambient temperatures can cause internal components and batteries to overheat, making devices prone to catching fire.

Factors Contributing to Device Overheating

Inadequate Ventilation: Devices like laptops and televisions have vents designed to release heat. Obstructing these vents or placing devices in confined spaces hinders proper airflow, leading to overheating.


Prolonged Usage: Using devices for extended periods, especially for demanding tasks like gaming or video editing, can significantly increase their temperature.

High Ambient Temperature: Hot external environments make it harder for devices to cool down, particularly if left in direct sunlight or inside a hot car.

Dust and Malfunctions: Dust accumulation, malfunctioning fans, or degraded thermal paste can impair the cooling efficiency of devices such as smartphones, laptops, and AC units.



Preventing Device Overheating and Managing Fire Risks

To keep your gadgets safe from overheating and prevent potential fires, consider these practical tips:


1. Avoid Direct Sunlight Usage:

Try to minimize using your phone in direct sunlight. If unavoidable, reduce screen brightness or use the device in shaded areas to prevent overheating.

2. Remove Phone Covers While Charging:


Modern smartphones can charge quickly, but this generates significant heat. Remove the phone cover during charging to help dissipate the heat.

3. Limit Gaming in Hot Environments:

Playing games on smartphones generates heat, especially in warm conditions. Play in cooler, air-conditioned rooms to reduce the risk of overheating.


4. Adjust screen brightness:

If your phone overheats, manually lower the screen brightness to help maintain a cooler temperature, as it can lead to device heat up.

5. Cautious Use of GPS in Vehicles:

Using navigation apps in direct sunlight can heat your phone rapidly. Position your phone near an AC vent or keep it in a shaded spot in the car to prevent overheating.

6. Give Your Device a Break:

If your device starts overheating, set it aside for a few minutes. This allows it to cool down to a safe operating temperature.

7. Stick to official chargers:

Use the charger that came with your phone or one officially recommended to avoid excessive heating. Unofficial chargers may not regulate temperatures well.

8. Disable Unused Apps and Notifications:

Background apps can cause your phone to heat up even when idle. Disable notifications for apps you don’t use frequently to reduce background processing.

9. Avoid Leaving Your Phone in Cars:

Leaving your phone in a parked car, especially in direct sunlight, can cause it to overheat. Take it with you to prevent unnecessary heating.

10. Don’t Keep Your Phone in Pockets:

Carrying your phone in your pocket limits air circulation and can lead to higher operating temperatures, particularly on hot days. Keep it in an open area when possible. 


If your device overheats, here are steps to cool it down and manage the situation:

  • Stop Using and Power Off: Cease using the device and turn it off to halt further heat generation.
  • Reduce Load and Brightness: Close unnecessary applications and reduce screen brightness. Switching to airplane mode on smartphones can also lower heat production.
  • Move to a Cool, Shaded Area: Place the device in a cool area away from direct sunlight. Removing cases can aid in faster heat dissipation.
  • Use Cooling Accessories: For laptops, a cooling pad with fans can help. External fans can improve airflow around larger devices like TVs or gaming consoles.

Safety Tips If a Device Catches Fire:

If a device ignites, follow these safety measures:

Unplug the device. If safe, disconnect it from power. For larger appliances, turn off the main power supply.

Use Appropriate Fire Extinguishers: For small, manageable fires, use an extinguisher rated for electrical fires. Never use water as it conducts electricity.

Evacuate and Seek Help: If the fire spreads or is uncontrollable, evacuate and contact emergency services.

Avoid Reusing the Device: A device that has caught fire is likely compromised and should not be used again due to safety concerns.

By following these guidelines, you can protect your electronic devices from overheating and reduce the risk of fire, ensuring their longevity and your safety during extreme summer heat.


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