Laptop on clothes started house fire
Computer overheated, says deputy fire marshal
Posted: Mar 6, 2013 8:00 AM AT
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2013 9:50 AM AT
A laptop computer that was left running while it was sitting on a pile of clothes has been identified as the cause of a house fire in western P.E.I. on Monday.
The home in St. Raphael had extensive smoke and heat damage on the inside, but no one was injured.
Deputy fire marshal Robert Arsenault said it was relatively easy to uncover the laptop as the cause of the fire.
"We believe that that laptop, at some point, got warm, and that heat then built up on that pile of clothes, and at some point ignited those clothes and that's what started our fire," said Arsenault.It was relatively easy to find the cause of the fire, says P.E.I. deputy fire marshal Robert Arsenault. (CBC)
Jason White of the Charlottetown computer store The Tech Guru said while modern laptops are designed to shut down when they overheat, sometimes that system can fail. The heat from the computers has prompted some manufacturers to discourage people from actually using them on their laps.
"Material for the notebook when you open it, it will say 'do not place on your lap,' or 'use on a sturdy surface like a table,' because a lot of the new computers, especially the budget computers you're going to buy, do have a lot of heat produced by them," said White.
The vents to release that heat are often along the bottom or side of the computer, he said, and if they're blocked by a blanket, clothing, or even a computer case, you can run into problems.
Arsenault said computers are not the only concern. All electronics can produce heat when they're plugged in.
"Anybody that has unplugged their cell phone charger or any electronic device charger mechanism, when you're unplugging it you can feel the heat with your fingers," said Arsenault.
The owners of the St. Raphael home have found another place to stay for the time being, and the Red Cross is helping them out.
Latest Prince Edward Island News Headlines
- Too many bused to school on P.E.I.: report
- Not enough children on P.E.I. are walking or biking to school, says the 2013 Active Healthy Canada report, and that could be contributing to poor health. more »
- Apologize for Duffy Senate appointment, MP demands
- Prince Edward Islanders deserve an apology for the appointment of Mike Duffy as a senator for P.E.I., says Charlottetown MP Sean Casey. more »
- Holman Grand to reopen
- Homburg International has purchased the Holman Grand Hotel in downtown Charlottetown and announced it will reopen immediately. more »
- Rangers scratch Brad Richards from must-win game
- Struggling Rangers centre Brad Richards says he will be a healthy scratch Thursday night as New York faces elimination in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. more »
Top News Headlines
- 2nd suspect in Tim Bosma murder case to plead not guilty
- 2 more arrests linked to hacking death of British soldier
- Neil Macdonald: Harper no Obama when it comes to dealing with scandals
- Rob Ford: Councillors, media want answers on crack issue
- Newspaper editorials and commentators are expressing frustration over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's silence on allegations he was captured on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. more »
- Motorcyclist killed in Marshfield collision
- Alcohol banned from campground for festival
- Holman Grand to reopen
- 35 laid off at UPEI
- Mike Duffy's primary home not P.E.I., unedited Senate report says
- Principal pleads guilty to luring a minor
- Car dealer faces $15K vandal bill
- Gay blood donation policy called improvement
- Peewee hockey bodychecking faces national ban