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EE announces second Power Bar recall over fire risk

Mobile network operator recalls another batch of smartphone charging packs over a potential fire risk

Mobile network operator EE has announced a second recall of its Power Bar swappable phone chargers after more incidents of the units overheating and causing a potential fire risk.

“We are recalling all EE Power Bars. This is just a precaution, but we want to make sure all our customers are safe,” EE said in a statement.

“If you have a Power Bar, you should stop using it straight away and hand it in to one of our stores.”

This is the second time in six months that EE has been forced to recall Power Bar units, which were launched in April 2015 to help users overcome the perennial problem of having their smartphone battery run down during an average day.

The 2,600 milliampere hour (mAh) units contain enough capacity to charge a smartphone to full battery and have a guaranteed lifetime of 500 charges.

However, in August a medical student suffered severe burns to her hand after her Power Bar exploded during a charging cycle. EE subsequently recalled and replaced the entire batch, identified with the code E1-06.

The latest incident comes in response to a “small number of further incidents”, said EE. However, the second recall now applies to all units, which can be handed back to EE stores in exchange for a £20 voucher.

EE did not give further details of how, or indeed if, users can obtain a replacement, saying it is fully focused on the recall.

Generally accepted guidelines say that users of portable power banks should avoid leaving them plugged in for prolonged periods, refrain from charging them overnight and ensure they are charged in a well-ventilated environment.

Power banks naturally become warm during charge and discharge cycles, but their use should be discontinued if they become hot to the touch.............................

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To paraphrase the standard aphorism, where there's power there's heat and where there's heat there's fire." I'm sure there's a moment of smoke there, too.... We design powerful little batteries tightly encased in the smallest possible packages, then pretend we're  shocked, shocked I tell you, when they burst into flame. Back to the drawing board - we NEED those batteries.
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