The Big Bang

How to avoid spontaneously combusting phones, and other helpful tips from the FAA.

By Nancy Coleman and Victoria Cheyne | Sept. 22, 2016

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It was an overcast day on Sept. 9 as 28-year-old Jonathan Strobel worked his shift at a Costco in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And yet, neither the weather nor the fact that he was in a Costco in Florida were the worst part of his day.

In the middle of Jonathan Strobel’s front pants pocket was his Samsung Galaxy Note 7. This is the point where Strobel’s situation allegedly went downhill — or blew up, if you will.

Strobel’s Galaxy Note 7 exploded in his pants pocket, leaving a Galaxy-Note-7-sized burn on his thigh, according to Strobel’s lawyer. Strobel sued, one of his grievances being his “loss of the enjoyment of life.”

Samsung issued a self-initiated recall on Sept. 2, a piece of information that was, in a majestic act of irony, emailed to Strobel 10 hours after his erratically overheating phone literally burned a hole through his pants. An official recall went into effect this week.

Samsung is offering a full refund or replacement for the Note 7, but in case you decide to forgo common sense and bring this mobile disaster onto an aircraft, MOVE Magazine talked to the Federal Aviation Administration about how to avoid the consequences that come with willfully holding onto a self-igniting slab of metal.

Turn it off. Please. For the love of Jonathan Strobel. Disconnect the device from any charger. (Unless you prefer your phones to explode and still have battery left over to play solitaire.) Disable all applications so the phone stays off. (Just kidding. No solitaire.) Protect the power switch so that it doesn’t accidentally turn on. (Or, you know, don’t bring your explosive phone on an airplane in the first place.)

Edited by Katie Rosso | krosso@themaneater.com

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