A couple’s urgent warning after an everyday object caused their car to suddenly catch fire while on holiday
- Power bank exploded in hot van
- Couple was traveling through Australia
- Battery destroyed seats and center console
- Aussies warned to be battery conscious in the heat
A couple has issued an urgent warning to their fellow travelers after a power bank exploded in their van, nearly ruining their vacation.
Chris Thorpe and her husband had used the device during the trip to charge their phones and tablets before it nearly destroyed their vehicle.
Ms Thorpe said she had intended to bring the power bank inside but had her hands full at the time and had forgotten to bring it back.
When the couple returned to the van, they were shocked to discover that the device had caught fire and was “smoldering” in the front seat.
Ms Thorpe described the close call in an online camping group hoping other enthusiasts wouldn’t make the same mistake.
“The temperature of the car has clearly risen, the sun is shining on the power pack… boom,” she wrote.
“We were confronted with this. Destroyed front seat, seatbelt, seat covers, console and black soot everywhere.”
Shocking footage of the damage shows the center console melted, large chunks of the passenger seat missing and the fuzzy seat covers scorched.
Chris Thorpe and her husband had used the device during the trip to charge their phones and tablets before it almost destroyed their vehicle (pictured, the damage inside the van)
The couple say the van may have been completely destroyed had they not returned and extinguished the flames.
Fortunately, despite the setback, they were able to continue their journey.
“Positives: We’re OK, van is OK, car is still drivable, I get to be a backseat driver, and we have insurance,” she told group members.
“Just a blip in our adventures.”
She warned others not to leave any electronics in their cars, especially on hot days.
Despite being the most common batteries in electronics, lithium ion batteries are highly flammable and can easily catch fire.
They can be found in mobile phones, portable laptops and chargers, power tools and more recently in electric bicycles, scooters and solar battery storage units.
Shocking footage of the damage shows the center console melted, large chunks of the passenger seat missing and the fuzzy seat covers scorched (pictured)
Risks associated with batteries include overheating, which can cause a fire or explosion, resulting in burns, exposure to toxic chemicals, and contamination.
If the battery ruptures or is exposed to high temperatures, it may catch fire.
Users are encouraged to ensure batteries are stored within the manufacturer’s recommended temperature range and away from flammable materials.
Batteries should not be exposed to heat, direct sunlight or left in hot vehicles for long periods of time.
Signs that a battery is overheating include if the battery feels extremely hot, is swollen or leaking, makes a hissing or crackling noise, or gives off smoke.