Is Charging a Phone in Bed a Fire Risk?

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If you like to fall asleep scrolling through Facebook, you might want to find a new nighttime habit. Not only does using your phone get in the way of your sleep, but it could cause an even bigger safety risk.

A post from the Newton Fire Department in New Hampshire recently went viral with a scary warning. The department shared photos from an English mom whose teenage daughter fell asleep with her phone charging under her pillow. When the 16 year old woke up, her phone was so hot it almost burned her hand. It didn’t smoke or start a fire, but it did leave alarming scorch marks on her pillow, according to Daily Mail.

Research has revealed that 53% of children/teens charge their phone or tablet either on their bed or under their pillow….

Posted by Newton NH Fire Department on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The big risk is exposed wires, which were probably behind the fire from the teen’s phone, says Brad Nichols, technician with technology repair service company Staymobile. “Any time you’re working with damaged electronics or exposed wiring, there’s always a fire risk,” he says. “If you have a frayed cable or anything else like that, it’s better to replace it than to try to mend or repair it, especially with how cheap they are.” Just don’t damage your phone with an off-brand charger.

Most phones without defects probably won’t overheat and cause a fire, but it’s not impossible, says Nichols. Plugging your phone in and putting it down on your bed probably won’t do any damage. But the risk goes up if it’s working overtime and slips under your pillow.

When you drain or charge your battery, your phone lets off heat—and when you drain your battery by using it while it’s trying to charge, it gets even hotter, Nichols says. “The problem is when it’s covered with cloth and doesn’t allow the heat to escape,” he says. So a pillow or blanket smothering your already-overheating phone could be an

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