Cork City firefighters have warned households to be aware of the potential risks of faulty or overheated phone chargers, especially those left constantly plugged in or charged in bedrooms.
The warning comes after the brigade had a very busy Monday night with several calls throughout the city, including one to a house where occupants noticed a smoldering phone charger cable.
Posting a timely reminder on social media, firefighters said the overheated cable was about to start a fire.
“The occupants did the right thing, evacuated and called 999,” firefighters said.
A team quickly attended the scene and pointed their thermal imager at the smoking cable – it recorded a glowing, white-hot temperature of 116 degrees.
Fires caused by loaders have become increasingly common, as County Cork Fire Departments recently had to deal with a blaze that caused extensive damage to a house in Bantry.
Advice from security experts is clear and includes:
- Check the charger for signs of damage – If your cell phone charger shows any signs of damage, such as exposed wires or cracks on the outer casing, it may be time to buy a replacement. Such damage can increase the risk of an electrical fault occurring.
- Avoid extreme temperatures
- Batteries can be affected by weather conditions, especially since they can get very hot. A hot battery is okay, but it can become dangerous if the battery is not able to easily get rid of that heat.
- Keep your phone on a hard, fire-resistant surface – never place it on upholstery, on rugs, near curtains, or on your bed.
- When charging your phone, it is best to keep it in a cool place away from direct sunlight. You should never cover the phone with anything while it is charging, as the battery may rise in temperature and overheat.
- Avoid overloading your outlets – this is a very common cause of fires.
The County Cork Fire Department has previously shared a very dramatic video, a simulation of a bedroom fire made by a fire department in the UK, which shows how quickly a small defect in a electrical or mobile device can cause a conflagration.