When you read this family’s story, you’ll quickly realise that when it comes to scrolling the internet and smart devices, you’re not safe even when you’re offline. A smart device is a fire hazard ALL THE TIME.

Let’s be honest, we all do it at some point. Plug our phone into the charger and throw it on the bed. The kids tuck the iPad into the couch cushions while it’s charging. Or we run an app on our phone and tuck it under our pillow to track our sleep…

For safety’s sake as well as your family’s – you might just want to rethink these types of actions. Smart devices, though we love them, are complete fire hazards.

Beds are burning with fire hazard devices

An 11-year-old boy was lucky to not have been badly hurt when he woke to find his bed mattress smouldering down to the wire, literally. Horrifyingly, his electronic tablet scorched a burning hole right down to the inner mattress. To the point where it was exposing the mattress springs.

It’s reported that the boy had connected the just four-year-old Samsung tablet to its charger and left it on the bed to charge overnight before falling asleep.

bed fire, tablet
Image source: 9News

A near (and exceptionally lucky) escape

A lucky escape indeed, this UK-based family did not have working smoke alarms in their home to alert them of the incident as it was unfolding while they slept, blissfully unaware.

Firefighters who attended the scene installed two brand new smoke alarms before leaving. We imagine this is one family who are thanking their lucky stars that no one was hurt and that the bed didn’t catch on fire completely, which would have undoubtedly led to a much more tragic outcome, possibly the loss of their home.

Closer to home

A similar incident occurred closer to home in Adelaide, South Australia in recent years. A mobile phone left charging on a bed caused a mattress to ignite and led to the bedroom going up in flames and staining the whole house in smoke soot. Damages were estimated to be around the $30,000 mark.

That’s one helluva fire hazard and a high price to pay for recharging a phone!

Fire hazards and safety first

This event serves as a timely reminder to test and replace smoke alarm batteries in our homes. Also, though they may be a little more expensive – only use genuine branded chargers for our devices and follow the manufacturers instructions.

When it comes to WHERE to charge your devices, choose a safe place clear of anything that could ignite. Never ever charge anything (phones, laptop computers, tablets, gaming controllers, etc) on any soft furnishings (beds, couches, bean bags and the like).

Electronic devices can become very hot even when we’re not directly using them. So ALWAYS think of them and treat them as a potential fire hazard. When devices are stuffed under pillows, blankets, jackets – anywhere where the heat can’t escape the gadget, they become an instant fire hazard.

Talk to your kids about safe charging areas so they also know the right thing to do!

Register your products

This is a great tip – always register your products with the manufacturer. Once you register your products, you’re generally on the company’s mailing list so you can be on alerted to any safety recalls.


Speaking of fire hazards, if you’re the owner of an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, you should definitely check out if your computer is one of those affected by their recent safety recall.

Author

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

1 Comment

  1. ‘…which would have undoubtedly led…’
    (not ‘…which would have undoubtedly lead..’)

    Good reminder for fire safety though – thanks.

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