Laptop Users: Be Aware! – Facts Analysis

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Laptop Users, Be Aware!


A couple lost their 25 year old son in a fire at home on June 4th. The son who had graduated with MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison two weeks earlier had come home for a while. He had lunch with his dad at home and decided to go back to clean up his hostel room. His father told him to wait, to meet his mother, before he went back for a few days. He decided to take a nap while waiting for his mom to come back home from work. Some time later their neighbors called 911 when they saw black smoke coming out of the house.

Unfortunately, the 25 years old died in the three year old house. It took several days of investigation to find out the cause of the fire.

It was determined that the fire was caused by the laptop resting on the bed. When the laptop was on the bed cooling fan did not get the air to cool the computer and that is what caused the fire. He did not even wake up to get out of the bed because he died of breathing in carbon monoxide emitted out of burnt laptop.
The reason I am writing this to all of you is that I have seen many of us and also our brothers& sisters sons&daughters friends&family using the laptop while in bed. Let us all decide and make it a practice not to do that. The risk is real. Let us make it a rule not to use the laptop on bed with blankets and pillows around. Please educate as many people as you can.


The message explains a fire accident caused by a laptop and warns laptop users to be aware of it. The fire accident did take place, and the victim was identified as Arun Gopalratnam. A similar fire accident took place in Vancouver, where an old man died because of his over heated laptop left on couch. This generally happens when there are some mechanical flaws in the units or the batteries. Not all laptops are risky. However, laptops should not be left unattended under easily combustible surfaces like pillows and beds. They should never be placed on surfaces with poor ventilation.

Fire requires 3 elements, oxygen, heat and fuel. The heated laptop can act as a source of heat, the bed as fuel, and the oxygen available in air can cause fire. You can find a similar accident reported in the reference section. So, it is important to be careful while using laptops. Mentioned below are some important safety precautions all laptop users must be aware of while using laptops:

  • Avoid using laptops on soft materials which block airflow and lead to over heating. Instead, operate on a hard surfaces. If it is not possible, it is important to use a heat-sink base to maintain cooling.
  • It is advisable to use a laptop desk or cooler to allow air circulation between your laptop and desk.
  • Always shut down your laptop whenever you are carrying it in a bag, even for short periods of time.
  • Check and clean the air vents of your laptop regularly. Use forced-air dusters to the vents from any kind of dust or debris.
  • If any equipment or parts of your laptop do not work, make sure to replace them.
  • Before using your laptop, review the manufacturers’ website for any additional tips for safety and maintenance.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of hoax and facts.


Death Report
Death Notice
Similar case of burnt laptop

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Prashanth Damarla