Experts warn against the fire risks of charging phones in bed

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The dangers of charging phones overnight

Firechief Global, a provider of fire safety solutions in the UK, has issued a public warning about the hazards associated with charging mobile phones beside the bed at night.

This caution comes in light of data showing that a significant portion of the population, including a third of teenagers, have the habit of sleeping with their phones under their pillows, and 74% of Britons charge their devices in their bedrooms.

This practice, according to experts, poses a considerable risk of fire.

The impact on sleep quality

Ana Brito, a certified sleep expert, also highlighted the negative effects of this habit on sleep quality.

She noted that having a charging phone within easy reach overnight can disrupt sleep patterns due to constant notifications and screen light, preventing users from achieving deep, restorative sleep.

Fire risks associated with phone charging

Laurie Pollard, the Managing Director of Firechief Global, emphasized the fire hazard posed by charging phones under pillows or blankets.

“Phones generate heat during charging, and covering them with pillows or blankets can trap that heat, increasing the risk of overheating and potentially causing a fire,” Pollard explained.

He stressed the importance of charging phones on open, flat surfaces away from flammable materials to mitigate these risks.

Sleep and psychological effects

Ana Brito addressed the psychological implications of being too close to one’s phone at night.

She discussed the cycle of dependency created by the need to check notifications, which can affect both physical safety and mental health.

Brito advocated for establishing a tech-free zone at least an hour before bedtime to improve sleep hygiene.

Safer charging practices

Pollard also warned against overcharging, noting that it is a leading cause of fires in devices with lithium-ion batteries.

Although modern smartphones have systems to prevent overcharging, the risk remains if these systems fail.

He advised against charging phones on bedside tables, especially those made of combustible materials, to reduce the risk of fire.

IFSJ Comment

The warning from Firechief Global sheds light on a commonly overlooked hazard in many households: charging phones overnight in bedrooms.

The combination of fire safety and sleep experts speaking out on this issue highlights a critical need for awareness and change in our nightly habits.

As technology becomes further ingrained in our daily lives, recognising and mitigating associated risks is essential for our safety and health.

Educating the public on safe charging practices and the importance of creating a tech-free bedroom environment is a step forward in addressing these concerns.

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