On Valentine’s Day, the last thing we might want on our beds is a charging cell phone.

Charging phones and other electronic devices around flammable areas, such as beds, poses a fire hazard, as announced by a PSA alert in June 2017.

What Happened?

The PSA was released when the Newton New Hampshire Fire Department posted on social media pictures of a 16-year-old girl’s charred pillow. Apparently, the girl was charging her cell phone underneath her pillow, and the phone overheated and burned the bedding.

The burn was likely caused by the frayed and exposed wiring of her charger. The girl nearly burned her hand as well, but luckily, she did not experience any injuries.

Risk Amongst Children

Charging phones around sleeping environments is common, especially amongst youth. The following statistics from research and studies should cause great concern:

• Half of children and teens charge their phones on their beds.
• 38% of children and teens charge their phones under their pillows.
• 89% of teens and 72% of children use at least one electronic device near their beds.

Along with threats on sleep quality and mental health regarding cell phone usage, charging devices on or near flammable materials could be added to the list of concerns.

How Devices Heat Up

Cell phones and other electronics heat up when charging or when the batteries begin to drain. Cloth or pillows can prevent heat from escaping as devices charge, so the devices may generate more heat. Damaged electronics and wires also heighten the risk of a fire.

How to Eliminate Fire Hazards

Charge devices on non-flammable surfaces and away from flammable materials to prevent fires and burns on bedding and persons. Make sure to replace damaged electronics and wires as needed.

Frayed or exposed wiring should be discarded. To cool down heated electronics, turn them off for a while.

Set some sparks between you and your loved ones on Valentine’s Day. But don’t take that literally by charging electronics on the bed.