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Laptop Spontaneously Ignites On Mattress

Whenever I use my MacBook on my lap, it always feels as though it is burning my legs since it gets so incredibly hot. So maybe an iPod can burn through a man's pants, but did you know that a laptop caught on fire while on a bed? According to Engadget, a man's IBM ThinkPad R50e burned right through his mattress shortly after he went to bed. Luckily he hadn't fallen asleep yet and was able to put the fire out. And get this, the laptop's screen may have went up in flames, but he's still able to use the laptop by connecting it to an external screen. . . Scary but true!


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enSue enSue 9 years
That's a scary and possible situation if you're not careful. I've been considering getting Snapball laptop stand plugs, which can be easily removed. You can find them here:
meeshee meeshee 9 years
dd-sugar dd-sugar 9 years
I use my very old IBM Thinkpad on my bed, supported by a "lap desk" I've had forever-$10, plus elevated a bit under the lid of a sturdy rectangular tupperware lid (don't laugh-works really well and no cost. I don't even have a chair in my tiny apartment, so it's the bed or couch if I want to sit. An adjustable tray table-$15, works for the living room and I use it for other things, plus the bottom slides under the couch. Someday I will buy a new notebook. Conserve electricity and unplug it when you're done too.
Cris1192 Cris1192 9 years
Sometimes I use my laptop on my bed and it gets really warm... Poor guy, but still he should of been more careful..
precious_pets4 precious_pets4 9 years
COOL NEW FIND! While at Target about a week ago, I came across a laptop "lap pad" it's an angled rectangular shape with a horizontal cut out through the middle. The angle keeps the laptop level while you slouch in a chair. the cut out is designed to pass the cord through, so it's not dangling by your feet if the electrical outlet is on the "wrong" side of the chair. The entire gizmo is made out of breathable material to keep the air flowing through the back of the laptop (the cut out also helps with this) so the laptop won't overheat. Plus, your legs no longer get burned!! My daughter loves it and now that I know the overheating of a laptop caused a fire, I VERY GLAD I purchased this. (plus, it has some cool color choices! The one I picked up has a brown exterior, with baby blue in the cut out... very pretty!)
outofhere outofhere 9 years
I use my laptop all the time on my lap, if I wanted to sit at a desk or table I'd use my desktop computer. However, I always make sure that the fan is never covered up by my lap or a pillow. I also use it in bed, the same way but I never leave it on, ever, during the night. It only makes sense that if you cover the whole bottom of it, it will overheat. I figured there were a fair amount of incidents like this and that's why they changed the name from laptop to notebook.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
You know, it's not a LAPTOP, it's a notebook. In the manuals for most notebooks, it specifically tells you that you aren't supposed to use/leave your machine on fabric or your lap or any kind of a soft surface, because it will overheat and burn. I'm not surprised. He left it on his bed, and the sheets were probably covering up the area where the fans are, and it overheated. Plain and simple. What an idiot.
caligirl101 caligirl101 9 years
I'm always telling my daughter to keep my ibook off the bed, and for good reason. scary!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
That's crazy! But I am not suprised...sometimes those things can really get hot if you don't have them on a desk.
vavavoom vavavoom 9 years
I Believe It! Mine get's so so so so hot. sometimes when it's on my lap it makes me so hot that I sweat!!!! I'm shutting mine down at night from now on.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
foxie foxie 9 years
@ Blue- *coughporncough*
emalove emalove 9 years
That's so scary! I use mine on my bed all the time...but I put it away before I go to sleep.
Secretista Secretista 9 years
Yay for Dell inspirons that have built in fans!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
Question. Why would you go to sleep with your computer on your bed?
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
So scary! I think about that all the time because I either have the laptop on my lap or on my bed and I bend over to type. I heard about a Dell fire maybe 2 years ago? because of the battery and so I was hesitant to get a Dell, but I ended up getting one. I really like it, but the overheating thing scares me. My friend who is a computer expert said that those cooling pads are just a waste of money. If it starts to burn your legs, turn it off. The end.
murron05 murron05 9 years
I can believe a fire starting!! My puter is hardly EVER off and I have tried every cooling pad that is out there. Ya gotta be careful with the usb fan jobs as they will aid in burning out your processor earlier. I finally found this thermaltake pad that is insanely comfortable and works likes a charm. My legs AND mattress are all the better for it.
angelinemarie angelinemarie 9 years
holy cow!
Madamesoybean Madamesoybean 9 years
Hurray for nannychica! Thanks!
nannychica nannychica 9 years
Anyone who owns a laptop/notebook should own one of these.
Madamesoybean Madamesoybean 9 years
New lappys have better heat sinks for old one used to burn my legs! You can still warm yourself with one in Winter with the newer models tho...
verily verily 9 years
Despite its moniker, you should not use your laptop directly on your lap. They can get hot enough to burn, and many companies warn against using it that way. Kimau: Portables. ;)
Kimau Kimau 9 years
I used to work for Apple. The main thing is there are no longer called Laptops. The reason being its much easier to ventilate a machine through the bottom of the case. So any irregular surface such as a bed or soft skirt can block things up. This combined with a bit of age on the machine will result in a higher temperature. It still requires a very dry and warm room to happen.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
That's scary. I use a lap desk under mine. It helps.
millarci millarci 9 years
BTW, thanks for that tip kitkatherine! I'm definitely going to check it out.
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