HP has recently issued a recall on certain power supplies for it’s laptop computers. You can check to see if yours is one of them here. Hewlett-Packard in conjunction with federal regulators have recalled 6 million power cords sold between September 2010 and June of 2012 with select HP and Compaq notebooks, also including some docking stations. The recall is due to the cords overheating with the potential to catch fire.
Of the 29 reported instances, two of them involved people being burned while thirteen others reported property damage. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning to stop using the recalled cords immediately to prevent any possible accidents from happening.
This recall brings up important safety and usage tips for using laptops. You should always power down your laptop when not in use or set the sleep mode. Unlike a desktop, a laptop can overheat which can damage the computer or the furniture it’s sitting on. If you are going to pack it up in a case to use outside of home, make sure it is powered down. A laptop that is running while being in a case will have no way of venting and can melt. Do not rest your laptop on anything soft such as a pillow or blanket. The soft materials are prone to restricting air circulation from the fan and can cause the laptop to become extremely hot which can lead to burns or destruction of the computer.
If you have an HP or Compaq laptop I would recommend checking out the link above to see if you are one of the unlucky folks included in the recall. Remember to practice safe usage in order to prevent damage to yourself or your devices.