Studies show that most Americans keep their phones on them at all times, even when they sleep. While you might think it is a good idea to keep your phone plugged in near your bed in case of an emergency, charging it too close to you can actually be a safety hazard. According to Today, charging your phone under your pillow or in bed can cause a fire.
A fire department in Newton, New Hampshire used their Facebook page to warn people about the dangers of getting into this habit. They accompanied the post with frightening images of burned bed sheets and a blackened charger. “Research has revealed that 53 percent of children/teens charge their phone or tablet either on their bed or under their pillow. This is can be extremely dangerous. The heat generated cannot dissipate and the charger will become hotter and hotter. The likely result is that the pillow/bed will catch fire,” the post read.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) May 28, 2015
If sleeping with your phone near has become a habit for you, you’re in good company. According to the National Sleep Foundation, studies found that around 45 percent of parents and 30 percent of children sleep with their cellphone or tablet in their bedroom with them, oftentimes leaving the devices turned on and plugged in throughout the night. Even if you feel you need that device near you at night for safety purposes, make sure it is being charged far away from the bed and in an area where they won’t become overheated. “Generally, smartphones should be charged in locations that allow for adequate ventilation so they don’t overheat. Charging them under a pillow, on a bed or on a couch doesn’t allow for this,” said Susan McKelvey, communications manager for the National Fire Protection Association.
In order to ensure your device won’t cause a fire, it is prudent to look into good safety practices when it comes to technology. While you might be tempted to buy a cheap phone charger online or through a secondary vendor, it is best to only use chargers made by the company that also made your device. By using a charger designed specifically intended for your device, you’re less likely to run into a fire problem. It is also a good idea to only purchase smartphones and other electronics that have been tested for quality and safety procedures and list this in their user’s manual. Finally, when charging your device, keep it out of direct sunlight and away from anything flammable.