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If your laptop suddenly shuts down, produces odd electrical smells and/or is hot to the touch, it could be overheating. If so, continued operation may cause the computer to completely fail or even catch fire. Fires caused by overheating laptops are on the increase and are often because of laptops being left plugged in and unattended.

To prevent your laptop computer overheating:

Let it breathe

  • A typical laptop cooling system includes at least one fan that forces cool air in and hot air out. Check that nothing is blocking the air vents  for these. If the vents or fans are blocked by stickers, paint, lint, pet fur or debris, carefully clean them to ensure good airflow.
  • Soft surfaces can restrict airflow, so never use your laptop on a sofa, bed or carpet. Use on a hard surface to allow air circulation – you could use a lap desk or specialised laptop cooling platform.

Let it refuel

  • Do not use incompatible computer batteries and chargers. Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user’s guide.

Keep it safe

  • Do not get your computer or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
  • Avoid dropping or bumping your laptop.
  • Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the computer and battery.
  • Do not place the computer in extremely hot rooms or in direct sunlight.

Let it rest

  • Shut down your laptop when not in use.
  • Running demanding applications on a laptop for extended periods, such as video games or movies, can lead to heat issues. You can change the settings to lower the performance, which can cool down the laptop.
  • If you never hear your laptop’s fan and feel no air coming from the exhaust vent, this could indicate a cooling system failure. The laptop may become unstable or shut down after a few minutes of use.

If a fire occurs

  • Call the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service – Dial 190
  • If it is safe to do so, switch the laptop off at the mains.
  • Alert other people in the house.
  • Leave the room, closing the door behind you and wait for the Fire & Rescue Service to arrive.
Laptop Safety