In the smartphone age, we’re all used to having technology at our fingertips. But when it comes to powering down for the night, it’s best to keep mobile devices at arm’s length. There are a handful of reasons to dock your device when bedtime rolls around, from the sleep disrupting blue light to the unknown risks of the electromagnetic radiation they emit.
Another reason? Fall asleep with your cell phone under your pillow or on your bed, and you run the risk of an electrical fire.
Remember the cell phone battery explosions in recent years? I do. As if this isn’t reason enough to keep your smartphone at a safe distance while sleeping, recent reports indicate that simply charging your phone at night can cause it to overheat. When we play games, send texts, or listen to music in bed on our mobile devices, we run the risk of drifting off with our phone close by. If it’s plugged in to charge, this is a bad idea.
Photos from folks who made fell asleep next to charging smartphones show singed sheets and charred mattresses. Not a great way to wake up, to say the least.
In response to a number of people waking up to burned bedding, a New Hampshire fire department posted a public service announcement on Facebook warning of the dangers of sleeping with a charging device.
This warning goes for all members of your family with a smartphone. Let’s face it – teens are especially are glued to their handheld screens. If you have a kid at home that likes to snuggle in with their phone or tablet at night, time to nip that behavior in the bud.
In the fire department’s announcement, pictures of scorch marks on sheets make a clear point. The officials went on to say that research has shown that 53% of children and teens charge their phones or tablets on their bed or under their pillow. This is extremely dangerous, as the heat generated during charging doesn’t dissipate. The likely result of this heat building is that the charger itself, or the pillow or bed could catch fire.
Those with an increased chance of burning are chargers with visible fraying or those that are incompatible with a particular device. Don’t skimp to save a few bucks here; be sure that the charger wattage is compatible with your device and purchase chargers from a reputable source.
In Alabama, after responding to a house fire started by a device on a charger, the local fire department issued the following safety tips for charging phones, tablets, and laptops.
1. Place your device on a hard surface while charging. Never charge a device on a soft surface, like a bed or sofa.
2. Don’t use your device while it’s charging to eliminate the risk of being burned if it overheats or catches fire.
3. When accessories like batteries or cords have excessive wear, it’s time to replace them. Damaged accessories increase the risk of sparks and fire.
Follow this advice from the experts, and you’ll keep you and your family safe.
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