Beware of Plug In Devices: They Can Put Your Family At Risk

Boy playing video games at homeDo you have a device that plugs in? Sure you do. Otherwise how are you reading this? The point is we all have devices that plug in around our home. Whether it’s a device such as a phone or tablet or a device to make a room smell better, it is a fact of life now that we plug a lot of stuff in. Some devices are plugged in and left there until they die and some devices are plugged and unplugged daily for recharging. While we have become used to this every day routine of plug and play and really don’t think much about it, it really does require a bit of thought given the fact that some of these chargers and batteries can get pretty hot and have been responsible for some horrific fires, emergencies, and even deaths.

By now I am sure we have all seen the videos on t.v or online with the new hover boards catching on fire out of nowhere and even causing damage to homes as well. When charging an electrical device there are some basic steps to keep in mind while doing so:

  1. Do not put the item on anything flammable like a bed or couch
  2. Do not put the item plugged in under anything flammable like a cloth or blanket for the same reason.
  3. Do not put furniture resting directly up against an outlet, whether something is charging or not. There are power surges and all it takes is one spark and the bed or couch can catch fire instantly.
  4. Do not wrap the charging cable with anything flammable. The cables can get hot as well and so can the wrap.
  5. When using scent devices that plug in, do NOT refill them with aftermarket liquid not specifically designed for the device.
  6. When possible, put all the devices charging on a surge protector.
  7. If you have any concerns about your outlets or electrical concerns, please contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

While the companies that make these different products all back their equipment, they all also stand together in warning the public that the cheap versions of their products from overseas have little of the safety designs in them to Urban Wheel - hoverboardprevent these disasters, thus that is why they are so cheap. In other words, you get what you pay for.

While nothing is fool proof and accidents will happen, taking a quick look around your home and garage and seeing about those batteries that have been charging for days and weeks and that tablet charging on the bed, we can do our part to make sure that a little safety goes a long way.

Thank you and please be safe!

Photo credit: Urban Wheel – Flo Board / Swegway / Hoverboard / Rideable;Ben Larcey; CC license

About the Author

Greg Atwood is a Firefighter /Paramedic in Coral Gables Florida and works for the Coral Gables Fire Rescue. He is an American Heart Association certified instructor in BLS ( Basic Life Support ), ACLS ( Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support ), and PALS ( Pediatric Advanced Life Support ). Greg currently lives in Miami Florida with his beautiful wife Alexa and their 2 sons, Connor and Jake. Greg is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team


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