A mother and her four children recently fled their home after a charging Kindle burst into flames while they were sleeping.

The family were alerted to the danger when her 13 year old son discovered that the his mothers mattress was on fire, caused by a plugged in Kindle. Luckily, due to her children alerting her and the rest of the family they all survived, but sadly their Tyneside home has been severely damaged, causing them all to move into friends and families homes until repairs can be made.

This is just one of many the stories where fires have started due to items being put on charge for a long period of time, unsupervised.

We’ve all been guilty of leaving laptops, phones, tablets and more plugged in for hours while we sleep so they are ready for the morning, but what can we do to try and avoid them setting on fire?

  1. Use a timer: plug timers are so easy to use. Simply work out how long you need to charge your device (typically two hours) and set your timer to turn the plug off once the set time has been reached.
  2. Placement of your device: when you are charging your device do not store it on your bed or under your cushion. It doesn’t take long for an electrical device to overheat, which can lead to it catching on fire.
  3. Chargers: be careful when using replacement chargers. There are many unsafe counterfeit chargers on the market that can cause serious injury. When buying a charger it must:
  • Plug in easily. If it doesn’t then the pins have not been placed correctly or are the wrong size. If they do not fit properly into the socket you could be at risk of overheating and damage to the socket and charger, which is very dangerous
  • Look for the manufacturers markings, model and batch number
  • Check for a CE mark – although be careful as they can be forged
  • Make sure the output voltage of the charger and your device are the same

To ensure complete safety then you must always charge your devices when you are awake and alert if possible. You can also arrange for an electrical safety check of all your devices and appliances for added security. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.

It is also worth creating a fire safety plan with you family. If you would like some guidance then please check out our top tips.

There are some great tips on chargers on the Electrical Safety First website.