Product Safety Alert

“My Phone Cable Caught on Fire” and How I Was Just Minutes from Disaster

This morning started out like any other. I woke, reached down and grabbed my phone, unplugged it from its charging cable and started to check my emails.  Nothing unusual there. But what followed was definitely out of the ordinary and has me wanting to share with you this warning.

My phone cable caught on fire

As it’s the school holidays here in Adelaide, I was lying in bed a little longer than usual and scrolling on my phone, catching up with the world outside and overnight. I thought I started to smell the wafts of what I thought was an electrical burning smell. I’d smelt it before and it’s one of those smells that, once you’ve smelt it, you never forget it.  So I lay there wondering what the heck it could be and where it’s coming from. My husband walked in after a shower and said he couldn’t smell anything, but I knew differently.

Thoughts were running through my head as to what it could be and I KNEW I couldn’t ignore it. The ramifications were too huge. Most likely it was wiring in the roof and potentially the smell could be coming through the air-con vents in my bedroom.

So I’m (still) laying there and running through the scenarios in my head (procrastinating maybe) and starting to actually think what the heck I needed to do if there was indeed a fire in the roof! I worked out my plan of attack and which manhole I’d access and got out of bed.

An unplanned interruption changed everything

Heading out the back to get the big ladder I noticed my mum had dropped my son home from his sleepover at hers so opened the door for him and had a quick chat at the door. He then headed to our bedroom to say hi to the dogs and quickly yelled out for me to come.

Mum, there’s smoke coming off the rug. What is it?” he questioned.

WHAT??

I rushed back into my bedroom and, yep, smoke was wafting up from my shaggy floor rug next to our bed. When I leaned down, I could see my phone cable caught on fire.

I lifted the cable up off the rug and it was on fire! OMG! The end had melted off and was burning the plush rug which was starting a fire.”

And I mean a really bright orange fiery orange.  I ripped the cable out of the charging port and ran into the bathroom to put the burning phone cable under the tap. The wire was HOT and the end of the cable was completely melted. At this point, I realised that the end lightning plug had actually melted off into the rug so I ran back to grab the head of the cable and deal with that.

The rug was still smoking and starting to melt but luckily I was able to stop the fire by stomping on it. I rushed to the bathroom to wet the head and stop it from melting and stop to actually process what had just happened.  It really could have been so much worse.

The stars aligned … how this could have been such a different scenario

Typically at this time, I would be up and out, dropping my boys to school. But I wasn’t. No, it was a much lazier morning because we’re on school holidays here so I made the most of laying in bed a little longer than normal. Bliss. But wat did that mean?

Usually, I’d have jumped out of bed, gotten the boys ready for school and about the time the fire started, be halfway to dropping them off at school. So looking back, nobody would have been there to smell the wires starting to burn, twig something wasn’t quite right or at the very least intervene and stop the fire from progressing.

And well, I’d hate to think of how that could have played out.

I’m just grateful I nipped it in the bud and averted a huge tragedy. Seriously I can only imagine how quickly my bedroom (and house) could have gone up!)

phone cable caught on fire burning rug
Thankfully we nipped it in the bud however the rug started to melt and smoulder. Source: Supplied

Phone cable caught on fire – how did this happen? 

Looking back, there wasn’t much of an indication that anything was amiss. My phone was on the floor charging overnight and didn’t seem hot to touch when I removed it from the cable.

The phone cable was a bit hot, but I didn’t even think anything of it before pulling it out of the phone and throwing it back onto the rug, where it had been all night.

Was it an old phone cable? 

Well, that’s the scary bit. The cable was almost brand new. I can’t actually recall where I purchased it from but there is a logo on it that I am investigating.

As for my phone, which was also only about three months old, so far it seems okay. Fingers crossed it’s not damaged!

I know a lot of us have our phones charging next to us overnight and often on the floor so I just wanted to share that this kind of thing can happen.” 

Apple issues iPhone cable warning as well 

My experience isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, just a few weeks ago Apple actually issued a warning about their phones catching fire. It was tucked away in an update where Apple claimed putting the phone close to you for an extended period of time could give you an electrical shock, or it could even catch on fire.

Luckily this didn’t happen to me but definitely something to be aware of!

Apple also warns iPhone users not to place the phone under a blanket, pillow, or your body when it’s connected to a charger. It should be placed face-up on a wireless charger or flat on a table.

Apple says it’s fine to use cables and chargers that are MiA, or “Made for iPhone”. You should also be aware of any counterfeit MiA charging cables that are widely available on the internet, according to Apple.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? If so, let us know in the comments.

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Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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