Release date: 25 March 2021
Firefighters are reminding all residents to take extra care when charging their mobile phones after a fire in the early hours of this morning.
Mobile phones should be placed on a flat, stable surface when being charged, and people should avoid leaving them plugged in overnight as they can overheat if left plugged in for prolonged periods of time.
The warning comes after a man in Pulborough was awoke shortly after 1.30am to find his mobile phone malfunctioning accompanied by a smell of burning coming from his bed. He had gone to sleep the previous evening and left his phone on charge on his bed. The charging cable had overheated on the bedding and started a small fire.
Fortunately he was quickly able to extinguish the fire himself, but called for further advice from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service this morning.
Station Manager Jon Mays, who attended the property on West Chiltington Road this morning, said: “This individual had a very lucky escape and his quick thinking in the early hours of this morning prevented the fire from taking hold and spreading any further.
“But we would urge all residents not to leave their phones charging on their beds, sofas or underneath pillows. The devices can heat up exceptionally quickly, and when left on a combustible surface, this becomes a recipe for disaster.
“This particular fire seems to have begun within the cable itself, rather than the mobile phone. We would urge people to use the manufactures supplied equipment and check the chargers that they are using to ensure they are not damaged, frayed or have exposed wires, as these can all lead to a fire beginning.
“Thankfully this resident had working smoke alarms fitted on each level of his property too, which serve as an early warning when a fire breaks out.”
Some simple steps you can take to help prevent an electrical fire in your home:
DON'T overload plug sockets.
DO regularly check for worn or frayed wires.
DO unplug appliances when not in use.
DO Keep appliances clean and in good working order.
DO fully unwind extension cables prior to their use.
For more information please see www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire.