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Mobile Phone Battery and USB Charger Safety

by Jodi (follow)
Parenting Tips (43)      Safety (6)     
This is something easily overlooked but it is important - It is a safety hazard!

These days most of us have mobile phones, iPads, tablets and laptops. They all require charging. When they are plugged in to charge, the device battery and the charging mechanism heats up.

Over the years unfortunately some device batteries and chargers have heated up, exploded, caught fire or electrocuted people. Not something anyone wants to happen in their home, to their family.

Mobile Phone, Charger, USB, Safety

Often we charge our phones at night while we are all sleeping, leaving them plugged in for far too long. Some of us still use our mobile while it is charging or let our children play on the phone or tablet/iPad while it's charging.

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These are bad habits that are serious safety hazards to you and your family.

The batteries in most mobile phones today are sensitive. Non genuine batteries may not regulate voltage, current and heat within the battery, which could cause the battery to short circuit and explode, or heat up and burn people.

Mobile Phone, Charger, USB, Safety

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and Consumer Protection Safety Commission recommend the following to promote the safe use of mobile phones, batteries and chargers:

Mobile Phone and Battery Safety:

1. Do not use incompatible mobile phone batteries and chargers. Some Web sites and second-hand dealers, not associated with reputable manufacturers and carriers, might be selling incompatible or even counterfeit batteries and chargers.

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Consumers should purchase manufacturer or carrier recommended products and accessories. If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible, contact the manufacturer of the battery or charger.

2. Do not permit a battery out of the phone to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewellery.

3. Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.

4. Avoid dropping the mobile phone. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the phone and battery. If you suspect
damage to the phone or battery, take it to a service center for inspection.

5. Do not place the phone in areas that may get very hot, such as on or near a cooking surface, cooking appliance, iron, or radiator.

6. Do not get your phone or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.

7. Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user's guide.

Charger Safety:

Mobile phone chargers are regulated under legislation in each State and are required to be approved by the relevant state regulators.

To gain approval, each model of charger is tested and required to meet an Australian safety standard
that is equivalent to a corresponding international standard.

The tests evaluate the capacity of the charger to maintain suitable temperatures when the mobile
phone is removed and the charger is left on.

However, as with any electrical product, it is always advisable to disconnect chargers when they are
not in use. This will reduce the possibility of failure and it will reduce the electricity bill because you
are not paying for standby power consumption.

Mobile Phone, Charger, USB, Safety

How to check if USB chargers or travel adaptors are safety approved:

sa.gov.au say that approved chargers or adaptors will display a unique approval number or regulatory compliance mark.

USB chargers, travel adaptors and power supplies must be approved by a recognised certification body and display the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) or an approval number on the product.

If your USB charger or adaptor doesn't carry a recognised safety approval mark or if the pins are uninsulated, bend the pins on the chargers and dispose of them immediately.

As a general safety rule, avoid using devices while they are plugged in and charging.

Examples of non-compliant and compliant chargers fact sheet

So please be vigilant with devices and chargers. No one wants to be that person on the news who's child has been burnt by an overheated or faulty charging device.

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Thanks for a great article with lots of useful advice.
Thanks Marie, it's so easily forgotten and overlooked. I'm a culprit at times and have made it a point in the household to not leave devices on charge at night or when we go out all day.
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