Samsung Galaxy Catches Fire Under 13-Year-Old Girl’s Pillow

smolderphoneIt’s not all that unusual to fall asleep with your smartphone under your pillow: they make fine alarm clocks, and can hold so much important information that you don’t want it out of your reach, even while unconscious. Yet a Samsung smartphone woke up a 13-year-old girl near Dallas in the middle of the night when it began smoldering.

Like many teens, the 13-year-old really likes her smartphone. “It’s really, like, nice and pretty. It’s high tech,” she told TV station KDFW. She’s glued to the device all day, and says that it somehow slipped under her pillow one night as she slept with it at her side.

However, the phone didn’t have all of its original parts. Its battery had been replaced with a third-party part. The girl’s father told reporters that he had no idea that replacing the battery with a non-Samsung part was a bad idea. “We have a reasonable expectation that the products we buy are going to be safe,” he said. If there’s a risk that using a third-party battery could lead to your kid’s bed catching fire, he noted, there should be a great big warning like the Surgeon General’s warning on the outside of a cigarette package.


Actually, why not take it a step further? In some countries, like Australia, cigarette packs have gruesome or depressing photos of people suffering from smoking-related illnesses. Maybe Samsung could put pictures of the Galaxy battery fire on each phone’s battery cover.

Nah, consumers would probably ignore that warning, too, assuming it was only a ploy for Samsung to sell more batteries.

Samsung has promised to replace the phone and burned bedding, even though a spokesperson pointed out that the phone’s documentation clearly says not to use other companies’ batteries, since the company can’t guarantee compatibility and lack of fires.

On Your Side: Samsung cell phone fire [KDFW]

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  1. CzarChasm says:

    I don’t know about the S4, but the S5 totally says in several places they do not recommend using 3rd party batteries. I don’t think you can make a warning big enough that most people will read it.

    • GnRJosh says:

      Almost all consumer electronics warn you to never use unauthorized, non-OEM parts when it comes to things like removable batteries. Unfortunately, people overlook that fact when the price difference is as much as 80% that of the official part.

      “Samsung wants $80 for a replacement 3000mAh battery???? But I just saw one on Amazon from “Bob’s Batteries ‘R’ Us for $15!!! Screw you, Samsung, you’re not getting my money!!”

  2. EducationalGeek says:

    You are taking the risk of all sorts of problems when you put a non-oem part into anything. Quality is always lacking in third party products. I totally disagree with her dad saying he had a reasonable expectation of it being safe. You lose that expectation when you replaced the battery.

    • GnRJosh says:

      Exactly!! If that battery doesn’t say Samsung and show the logo, there is no reasonable expectation of anything other than a swelled battery and/or fire……and it sounds like that’s EXACTLY what he got.