Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging everyone to be mindful when charging tablets and mobile phones following an incident on Thursday, June 20.
An 11-year-old boy escaped injury when his tablet burned through his bedding and mattress after it had been charging on his bed overnight.
Firefighters were alerted to the incident when his father called into Lichfield Community Fire Station that morning to report what had happened. Fortunately the bedding smouldered rather than setting well alight however, Stuart Ruckledge – Station Manager and Brad Robins – Firefighter/Community Safety Officer (CSO) went to the house in Keepers Close, Burntwood, to discover what had happened.
The family bought the tablet brand new four years ago and it was connected to the genuine charger, but had become hot whilst plugged in from 9pm the night before, burning through bedding and the mattress down to the springs. Fortunately for the family, it did not develop into a full fire but had smouldered throughout the night. When the boy awoke the next morning, he discovered the hole in his bed, and his room was covered in a layer of black soot.
CSO and Firefighter Brad Robins, said, “This family has been greatly shocked by what has happened and it serves as a stark reminder not to leave items charging on materials that could catch fire when hot.
“Always place phones and tablets on to a safe surface when charging. Make sure you buy genuine chargers for your items and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to register your product in case there is a product recall. Also ensure that your smoke alarms are working correctly by testing them regularly. This building did not have working smoke alarms which may have alerted the family to the incident earlier.”
Whilst at the house, Brad fitted two smoke alarms, one heat detector and one carbon monoxide detector and has agreed to give a safety talk to pupils at the Erasmus Darwin School in Chase Terrace within the next few weeks.
UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.