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Posted at 02:31 PM ET, 07/21/2011

Heat wave reminder: Gadgets can cook in the sun


Gadgets need to beat the heat, too, though they should stay away from water. Above, Civil War Confederate chaplain reenactor Allen Farley of Appomattox, Virginia, holds a bottle of icy water on the neck of his wife Faith Farley as the heat wave hits Manassas, Virginia July 21, 2011. (KEVIN LAMARQUE - REUTERS)
It’s hot. Had you noticed?

In addition to staying hydrated and in the shade, you should also think about keeping your gadgets safe during the heat wave. While you probably carry your cellphone around with you, chances are those of you with a GPS never pull it out of the car.

But extreme heat’s bad for all kinds of gadget components, including the circuitry, batteries and the screens, and leaving your electronics to bake in your car or on a poolside table could mean a big headache later.

So stash gadgets in the glove compartment and out of the sun or, better yet, take them inside. If your gadget does get too much heat — the iPhone and other smartphones will let you know if they’re too hot — try taking out the battery and letting it cool down inside.

Another summer hazard is the wet cell phone. If your phone takes an unexpected dip in the pool, one tip that’s worked for me in the past has been to leave it in a bowl of uncooked rice overnight. First, take your phone apart, then dry it with compressed air. Then, cover it with the rice, which should soak up the extra moisture. You have to act fast, remove the battery and, above all, resist the urge to boot up the phone, which could fry the circuits.

I’ve also heard of people using this method with those silica gel packets — you know, the ones that you’re not supposed to eat.

Let us know in the comments section what solutions you’ve found.

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By  |  02:31 PM ET, 07/21/2011

 
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