Print 33 comment(s) - last by meesohonee.. on Mar 5 at 11:32 PM

A burnt PSP shell shows the damage from the exploding battery.  (Source:
Minor injuries sustained in lithium fire

Rather than let Apple corner the "flaming personal entertainment device" market, a Sony PlayStation Portable has caught fire while in the pocket of a middle-school student in Michigan.

According to the report from Warner Middle School
, the fire occurred at approximately 9:00 AM this morning, when the battery of the PSP apparently overheated and exploded, causing a lithium fire. The fire burned a hole in the student's pants and caused minor burns to his leg.

The school was placed on lockdown in order to allow emergency personnel to enter the building and administer first aid, and the child was taken to a local hospital for further treatment. Police are undergoing an official investigation -- it is not known at this time if the PSP was on when the explosion occurred.

While lithium battery fires have been big news of late, including new restrictions on air travel on January 1st, the major suspects have been laptop computers, due to the larger-capacity cells used -- but the probability of a portable game system to be carried by a child may cause some parents to consider extra precautions.

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Not worth it
By mindless1 on 2/7/2008 10:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, some devices simply should not use lithium tech batteries. When a product is designed for the larger (typically NiMH) alternative it need not make the device that much larger in many products. Being as small as possible isn't important enough to risk (not just the user but potentially others in the vicinity).

Li cells may also raise the initial and cell replacement cost, maybe it's time we stopped trying to increase power density as much as possible and started focusing more on universal recharging stations for consumer products, a standardized charge interface on a product casing so even a child can do it. If there are enough recharging stations and a good fast recharge rate the user can adapt just as they do to any battery tech.

RE: Not worth it
By bldckstark on 2/8/2008 12:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, yeah. Now you're on to something. Many of my current technological devices have a mini-USB port for charging. The ones that don't are the ones that the company is trying to make more money on each of the $29.95 car, house, boat, plane, and night time solar charger.

RE: Not worth it
By killerroach on 2/11/2008 10:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
The PSP can recharge through its mini-USB connection... I do that on a regular basis, in fact.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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