Apple has recently issued a service announcement, emphasizing the potential hazards of sleeping with a charging device. The company warns that this practice could result in fire, electric shock, injuries, or damage to both the device and property. This announcement carries significant importance as there are approximately 1.5 million iPhone users worldwide, with a survey revealing that 64% of American iPhone users charge their phones while they sleep.
This means that each night, around a billion people face a small but present risk of causing a fire. Apple underscores that both its phones and USB power adaptors can become hot during the charging process, which might lead to discomfort or harm. The company advises individuals to exercise common sense by avoiding scenarios where the device, its power adapter, or a wireless charger comes into prolonged contact with their skin. Specifically, Apple advises against sleeping on these devices or placing them under blankets, pillows, or one’s body while connected to a power source. Instead, it recommends keeping the iPhone, power adapter, and wireless charger in a well-ventilated area during use or charging.
Apple’s warnings extend beyond sleeping with a charging phone. The company also advises against charging phones in close proximity to liquids and urges users to immediately dispose of damaged chargers. The reason behind these precautions is to prevent the potential hazards of fire, electric shock, injuries, or damage to both the iPhone and surrounding property.
Apple emphasizes that using cables or chargers that have been compromised or charging a phone in the presence of moisture can lead to these serious risks. Additionally, the company highlights the increased danger associated with third-party chargers, cautioning that some inexpensive options might not meet the safety standards upheld by Apple’s official products. To ensure safety, Apple recommends utilizing chargers coupled with “Made for iPhone” cables that conform to internationally recognized safety regulations.
Furthermore, Apple’s concerns about the perils of overnight charging are echoed by a fire department in Kent, England, which has also issued a warning to iPhone users regarding the potential risks tied to charging devices while sleeping.
“We get a lot of questions here at Kent Fire & Rescue about why you shouldn’t charge phones overnight,” the fire expert warned in a viral TikTok video. ”So here are the reasons why. Number one: you can’t smell anything when you’re asleep, so if it starts to burn, the fire won’t wake you up. Number two: it only takes three breaths of smoke to knock you unconscious. Number three: lots of people have cheap or faulty phone chargers, but even genuine ones have been known to start fires.”
Despite the warnings issued by Apple and even a fire department, altering public charging habits is expected to be a challenging task. Those seeking tangible evidence of the potential dangers linked to nighttime phone charging need to search no further than a video showcasing an iPhone 4 igniting by itself in a residence in Green Township, Ohio.
Older iPhone models are particularly susceptible to the risk of catching fire due to the enlargement of their lithium batteries as they age. The mechanism behind this involves a chemical reaction within the battery that generates power. However, this chemical reaction can deteriorate over time, resulting in the release of gas and ultimately contributing to hazardous situations like fires.
“We were extremely lucky to avoid a house fire,” Brian Leisgang told WCPO. “Luckily we had just cleaned off the counter.”