back to article iPhone spontaneously combusts on CCTV

We all know iPhones are hot property - as their owners generally tell you. However, when one blows up in your pocket, you know its probably time to stop bragging. That's what happened to 17-year-old Henri Helminen, whose three-month-old iPhone started smoking profusely of its own accord, causing the Finn to quickly reach for …

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  1. AceRimmer
    Flame

    Let the Flames Begin

    see title

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Let the Flames Begin

      I hope that was a hoax. You wouldn't catch me standing/breathing in a cloud of smoke that (if not faked) contains hydrofloric acid from the battery venting for love nor money.

      That stuff is genuinely scary.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Let the Flames Begin

        HF would come from where??

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Let the Flames Begin

          From a li-ion battery that's vented. The nasty stuff is normally contained within the cells which is why your told not to disassemble them, however if the cell has to vent to prevent a thermal runaway and consequent hydrogen fire/explosion then that obviously breaks the seals and when the seals are broken then all sorts of nasty stuff comes out.

          It's warned about on the safety sheets, which of course everybody reads before using something with that kind of battery in it.

          http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg4/cg432/docs/msds/MSDS_LiIon.pdf

          Check out page 3 for the warnings & page 4 for the precautions to take if the cell is ruptured. Ie; gas masks filtering the air aren't considered to be safe enough and your meant to use something with an independent oxygen supply, hand protection, eye protection and a chemical proof apron.

          As I say, the stuff is a bit scary and personally I wouldn't be breathing it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let the Flames Begin

            Now, I finally understand why the Apple fanbois think Iphones are hot stuff!

          2. David Neil
            Flame

            Re: Let the Flames Begin

            LiPF is not Hydroflouric acid.

            HTH

            1. Peter2 Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Let the Flames Begin

              LiPF does however break down into Hydrofloric acid when it reaches temperatures substantially below what many devices operate at, and it's always present when a battery is at the point of venting because of a thermal runaway.

              HTH

  2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Pint

    US Patent 9087094: babecue...

    ...on a mobile device.

    1. Darryl

      Re: US Patent 9087094: babecue...

      Next:

      An injunction banning the import of Samsung devices based on their sale causing irreparable harm to Apple's business based on this patent.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: US Patent 9087094: babecue...

        The Chinese are one step ahead of Samsung on that one:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/24/iphone_gas_stoves/

  3. Kevin Johnston

    Insecure

    That CCTV camera isn't too securely mounted....I've seen more stable images from a handheld camera

    Hmm, wait a minute...........

    1. pcsupport

      Re: Insecure

      Wobbly camera, noises in the video background and someone picking the phone up off the ground 10 seconds after it bursts into a ball of smoke.

      I smell a rat.

    2. chipxtreme
      Facepalm

      Re: Insecure

      Actually if you actually watch the video i'd say your not watching the actual cctv footage but someone has recorded the cctv footage on there phone as if you look at the time at the top left that moves with the image too, which it wouldn't do if you were merely watching a faked video.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Insecure

        Why should someone play the file that comes out of a CCTV system, then record it onto a cellphone, get the file out of the camera (which is hard enough with some phones) to post it on the Internet? Wouldn't it be much simpler to just put the file from the CCTV system onto the Internet?

        1. MonkeyBot

          Re: Insecure

          Because the security guard who let them watch it only knows how to replay a tape and they couldn't plug the phone in.

        2. Richard 81

          Re: Insecure

          The CCTV recorder probably still uses cassettes and has no data ports.

        3. Cliff

          Re: Insecure

          Why record it on a phone cam? I can tell you've never tried getting data out of a Maplin cheapo CCTV system - not the H.264 ones necessarily, the previous generation which had the most insane file format I've ever seen. Took me best part of a day to export and convert a file (and I have some pretty hardcore video handling tools), frankly I wouldn't fancy a punters chances at all.

  4. twaffler
    Stop

    "There's a tap for that"

    No there isn't.

    Water. Lithium battery fire. Really, really bad combination.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Really, really bad combination.

      What else would you recommend? Given the small quantities of mostly soluble ingredients, *copious* quanties of water are likley to be the best way to deal with such a fire.

      1. Z-Eden
        Headmaster

        Re: Really, really bad combination.

        Be my guest. Personally, I'd prefer to stick with certain classes of dry powder for putting out metal fires...

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Really, really bad combination.

          > Personally, I'd prefer to stick with certain classes of dry powder for putting out metal fires...

          To quote from the PDF referenced above:

          ---

          5. Fire Fighting Measures

          CO extinguishers, halon or copious quantities of water or water-based foam can be used to cool down

          burning Li- ion cells and batteries.

          Do not use for this purpose sand, dry powder or soda ash, graphite powder or fire blankets.

          ---

          You may do as you please, I'll stick to what the instructions say.

      2. Anonymous Coward 15
        Flame

        Re: Really, really bad combination.

        Did you not do chemistry at school? Lithium and water produce a highly exothermic reaction.

        1. Great Bu

          Re: Really, really bad combination.

          Did you do the part of the chemistry lesson where they demonstrated the metallic lithium burning in water or the one where they showed you the lithium salts (like what is in the battery) dissolving gently in water to no interesting effect at all ?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really, really bad combination.

          > Lithium and water produce a highly exothermic reaction

          There is *no* Lithium metal in a Li-ION battery. Only Lithium salts, which dissolve in water. Have you read the safety instructions which come with Li-ION batteries?

      3. /dev/null
        Boffin

        Re: Really, really bad combination.

        For Class D flammable metal fires, the only thing to do is bury it in something like graphite or copper powder. Anything else will probably make it worse. You can get Class D fire extinguishers filled with such powder but good luck finding one outside of a Li-ion battery warehouse!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No reported Windows combustions yet

    Is this Nokia's secret plan?

    1. adamgarretty

      Re: No reported Windows combustions yet

      No one has a windows phone yet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No reported Windows combustions yet

        Surely someone in Finland has one?

        1. Anonymous Coward 15

          Re: No reported Windows combustions yet

          It's a bit cold in Finland. Phones that get hot might be useful.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No reported Windows combustions yet

        "Re: No reported Windows combustions yet

        No one has a windows phone yet."

        See iPhone owners are just blinkered and their opinions, quite frankly, ridiculous!

        Thanks for the proof positive.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As phones get more demanding of power it's pretty obvious that more capacity is going to be squeezed into them. We've gone from relatively safe NICD to NIMH but it was the move to Li-ion where the problem started, they're just not as safe.

    The more power you put into the device the more it will go bang when damaged or overheated.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plausible

    Looks like he kept the phone in his rear pocket and was sitting on it just prior. Seems plausible that this would bend / stress the battery enough to cause a leak or short.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plausible

      Really!

      Looks like it was in his side pocket to me.

      Aren't apple phones built for "normal" use?

      I'd consider having your phone in your pocket is normal.

      Where is your phone right now?

      Stop trying to lay blame anywhere other than at FOXCONN/APPLE and the battery manufacturers door, just cause you love your last decade phone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plausible

        As usual my iPhone is on my desk on charge as i made a call from it earlier...

  8. Jonathon Desmond
    Stop

    More oddities:

    1) The amazing co-incidence that he was in virtually the exact middle of the frame, in full view of the camera when he does the dancing and throwing routine. If you've ever reviewed CCTV footage, how often does the really interesting stuff happen exactly in the middle of the shot?

    2) Where is he going? The door appears to be below the camera?

    3) The microphone click of the sort you get when someone physically knocks the camera

    1. John Bailey
      Facepalm

      Re: More oddities:

      Yep..You sussed it.

      It's iPhone hater propaganda, because Apple product batteries NEVER EVER explode. Even the ones apple had to recall due to exploding.. So he must have replaced it with a stolen magical fake battery.. Because the unicorn powered one that Apple supplies runs on sunshine and lollipops, so has no nasty chemicals.

      Lithium cells do build up pressure when damaged. They don't explode so much as burst. Which is why they are usually vented. To relieve the pressure.

      It is quite easy to damage a Lithium cell through normal use. Especially in a too thin casing which takes every flex and bend.

      Even Apple has duds.

      Now get over yourself and get a life.

    2. Matthew 3

      Re: More oddities:

      Yes and the shadows are all wrong, the flag was moving and the footprints don't look right either.

      I suspect that this footage was really mocked up on the moon, not filmed in Finland.

  9. adminspotting
    FAIL

    Dodgy

    That's very shaky camera-work for CCTV...

  10. 1Rafayal

    Did it self combust just to prove that it is far more creative than a samsung?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      W O W!!

      W T F?

      Another considered applite opinion! They just get better.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. davebrown
    WTF?

    If you see the date stamp in the top left corner, it is moving in frame, which says to me this is someone using a camera to record the CCTV screen and not the footage straight from the camera which accounts for the shaking and background noise.

    Also, why does everyone take the guys word when he says my GSIII burst into flames with no video just pictures but when an iPhone does on camera it has to be a conspiracy?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Also, why does everyone take the guys word when he says my GSIII burst into flames with no video just pictures but when an iPhone does on camera it has to be a conspiracy?"

      Because applites just refuse to accept their choices are poor, ill-conceived and misguided. Their handset choice mainly made because their mate showed them a talking cat app, and that is just so wonderful to them.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Sitting on phone

    True or not, from the video it seems he had the phone in his back pocket, even while sitting in the van.

    That's never a good idea, for any phone.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real news here

    Is that someone still uses Qik for video sharing... and man what a pain of a player it is.

  15. rho
    WTF?

    Cue casual walk

    I dunno, does anybody walk like that in real life? It seems to be a very affected casual walk. "Me? I'm just strolling from my van with a recent purchase in a bag, oh wow my trousers are smoking."

    What is he doing in the van for the first 5 seconds? Meditating? He's utterly motionless.

    It could be real. It looks staged.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Cue casual walk

      "Me? I'm just strolling from my van with a recent purchase in a bag, oh wow my trousers are smoking."

      That's why I don't go shopping any more.

    2. Graham Bartlett

      Re: Cue casual walk

      I wondered about those first 5 seconds too. Tape is definitely rolling, from the timecode in the corner. Mind you, the walk looks like an "I've got itchy nuts so I'm just about to put my hand in my pocket and give them a good scratch" kind of walk.

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Cue casual walk

      > What is he doing in the van for the first 5 seconds? Meditating? He's utterly motionless.

      Perhaps he's a delivery boy and that's his 30 secs break. Perhaps he's trying to adjust the radio.

      Perhaps he's putting Ballmer on hand-free.

      Conspiracy theories: the sky is your limit.

  16. TheOtherHobbes

    I'll bet

    that rounded the corners.

  17. Anonymous Coward
  18. GreggS

    And now live from the home of Nokia, its..

    You've been badly framed.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Roasted nuts

    Almost!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FAKE!!!!!!1111!!!1121!!!!!

    This is clearly fake.... To the people who are saying that the CCTV footage is wobbly because it was recorded on a mobile phone well we've just seen his 'mobile phone' go up in flames so what's he recording it on? A Lumia? Don't make me laugh

    1. vic 4

      Re: FAKE!!!!!!1111!!!1121!!!!!

      You see his mate(?) use a phone afterwards, maybe it was him?

      1. jestersbro
        Facepalm

        Re: FAKE!!!!!!1111!!!1121!!!!!

        Don't be silly. Until this little episode there was only one phone with a camera in Finland. It has to be fake simply because of that! Tch!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We all know iPhones are hot property - as their owners generally tell you. However, when one blows up in your pocket, you know its probably time to stop bragging."

    What is there to brag about. What? Your taste is glass/steel and 80's wall paper?

    iPhone owners are so dim! Brag to me you have an iPhone and i'll laugh in your face. How foolish? iPhone, tisk, your last decade!

    1. Toothpick
      Trollface

      What is there to brag about. What? Your taste is glass/steel and 80's wall paper?

      iPhone owners are so dim! Brag to me you have an iPhone and i'll laugh in your face. How foolish? iPhone, tisk, your last decade!

      TROLL

  22. JaitcH
    FAIL

    If Jobs were still alive ...

    he would be busty saying it never happened whilst his PR guys were slipping a confidentiality agreement in the hand of the unlucky user.

    Happened too many times for people not to believe it.

    1. vic 4

      Re: If Jobs were still alive ...

      No, he'd say it's no big deal, just change your pocket lining.

    2. Ted Treen
      Facepalm

      Re: If Jobs were still alive ...

      "...he would be busty..."?

      Boobed again!

  23. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Li-Ion is so last century

      I was going to get a Higgs Boson battery for my phone, but it was massive!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Siri to blame...

    ...the Scottish guy asked it to find 'Do It Yourself laminate floor seconds'

    "..Siri will self immolate in... 4.. 3.. 2.. 1.."

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