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Laptop fire alert

Fire chiefs have issued a safety warning following two serious house fires caused by the misuse of laptops.

In both incidents, a laptop had been left running on a bed.

West Yorkshire fire investigator, Gary Asquith, explained that laptops had undergone an incredible amount of development over the past couple of years but those developments had come at a cost: heat.

“Both fires, in Keighley and Pontefract, were caused by people leaving laptops on bedding which restricted airflow to the cooling fans.

“The majority of laptops draw air in through ventilation grills on their underside.

“If the laptop sits on an uneven, soft surface and air can’t get in, the result is overheating.”

Mr Asquith said problems could easily be avoided by keeping laptops on a hard, flat surface such as a tray or special holder. They should also be shut down when not in use.

Signs of an overheating laptop:

* the fan always runs at maximum speed

* reduced performance because the processing unit cuts back its clock speed in an attempt to reduce heat output

* frequent, sudden shutdowns.

 

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