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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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Cell Phone Fire Leaves Man in Critical Condition

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Are you carrying a bomb around with you?

On Saturday night, Luis Picaso, a 59-year-old man from Vallejo, Calif. Was in critical condition at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento after a cell phone caught fire in his pants, according to a report in consumeraffairs.com.

The phone ignited Picaso’s clothes as he was sleeping in a hotel room and he reportedly suffered burns on 50 percent of his body. According to fire department officials, it could’ve been much worse had the hotel’s sprinkler system not extinguished the flames. Authorities also refused to divulge the name of the cell phone maker.

Apparently, this is not the first time a cell phone bursting into flames. According to a 2004 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, the batteries were to blame. Consequently, the Commission recalled batteries from the Kyocera Smartphone, Kyocera Slider and Verizon Wireless LG Counterfeit batteries.

Cellphone batteries are Lithium ion, the same type involved in the recently publicized Dell laptop recalls.

The Wireless Consumers Alliance is a non-profit organization that has logged several incidents involving people injured by “exploding cell phones.”

According to Carl Hilliard, the group’s president, the problem arises because wireless companies are trying to pack more and more energy into a smaller package.

“When you’re doing that, you’re really creating a little bomb, especially when the battery is fully charged,” he cautions.

I understand that technology that evolved on a daily basis can be challenging for cell phone manufacturers. But with cutting-edge technology comes the responsibility of making sure it doesn’t harm the public.

If there are defective products in the market, they must be promptly recalled. Wireless companies and federal agencies should constantly be on the lookout for counterfeit products that effortlessly flood the markets.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective cell phone or other defective products, we are the attorneys for you. Our attorneys have the experience and the attitude it takes to get you much-needed cash for medical and living expenses.

Meanwhile, here are some tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
* Do not use incompatible cell phone batteries and chargers.
* Do not permit a battery out of the phone to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.
* Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.
* Avoid dropping the cell phone.
* Do not place the phone in areas that may get very hot, such as on or near a cooking surface, cooking appliance, iron, or radiator.
* Do not get your phone or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
* Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user’s guide.