If you fall asleep scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, then listen up because you might want to find a new night-time habit!
The image above went viral on social media after it was shared by the Newton Fire Department in New Hampshire, England. The photo was taken by a local mother who awoke to her 16-year-old daughter almost burning herself after leaving her phone charging in bed. While no flames were sparked, the photo clearly shows the wires left scorch marks on the bedsheets – only a small step away from a fire.
Bedside charging is incredibly common, especially with kids, with around 53% of children charging their tablets or phones right near their pillow.
So how can your phone create a fire?
The most dangerous situation occurs when a phone charger has exposed wires. This was the likely cause of the scorch marks in the images above and often happens to cheaper, non-manufacturer chargers.
A second scenario occurs when the phone is charging or being used. For instance, by using high processing apps like YouTube or Online Games, your phone will produce excess heat. This can be particularly problematic if you are draining and charging at the same time, creating a double-effect.
And lastly, the risk of danger is typified when all the heat generated has nowhere to escape. This may be the case if your phone is buried under pillows or bed sheets.
A fire may be unlikely to ignite from any single one of the scenarios mentioned above, however, it is easy to foresee a situation where all factors are at play. You may be lying in bed, under the covers, charging your phone and watching YouTube, and suddenly things can become dangerous – FAST.
So how can you avoid these fire safety hazards?

  1. Throw away chargers with frayed wiring rather than repairing them (repairing them can be even more dangerous)
  2. Refrain from purchasing cheaper non-manufacturer products
  3. Charge your phone on a clear bedside table/desk away from other objects
  4. Considering turning your phone off at night (you might even get a better night rest!)
  5. If you do need to charge your phone on your bed, ensure it stays above the covers.

Stay Fire Safe!
The Detector Inspector Team.