A Warwickshire family had a lucky escape when their daughter came downstairs for a drink of water late at night only to find that a phone which had been left on charge had burnt a hole through the leather chair.
Had the burn not been spotted as early as it was, the fire could have quite easily have smouldered while the family were sleeping and set the house alight.
The resident, who had recently purchased an unsafe generic charger cable off the internet, left the phone plugged in to charge overnight. It is believed that the burn was caused by the cable overheating.
Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager, Moreno Francioso said;
“On this occasion the family were very lucky and spotted the burn before it had time to take hold. Had they left the phone charging overnight, then we could well be looking at a very different story now.
“Our advice would always be not to leave phones charging overnight whether that be on a side in the kitchen or front room or under your pillow. If anything happens and the charger overheats, the consequences can be fatal, so why take the risk?”
Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:
“1.8 million mobile phone chargers are bought online annually and in the last five years the UK has seen a six fold increase in the number of fake and potentially unsafe electric goods being seized by enforcement authorities.
“Genuine chargers manufactured for specific electrical devices are designed to allow the correct charge for the item and will very often have inbuilt protection systems to prevent overcharging and overheating of the device. It might cost a few pounds more but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of someone you love.”
Following the incident our crews provided essential fire safety advice on how to stay fire safe in their home including not leaving appliances on overnight and closing all internal doors as part of a night time routine.
Councillor Roberts continued:
“With Christmas fast approaching and people looking to buy gifts and presents, please remember that the cheaper option may seem like a good choice, but it may not always be the safest one. So think safety first for the ones you love this Christmas and buy electrical items such as phone chargers from a reputable dealer.”
You can report an unsafe consumer product to Warwickshire Trading Standards Service on 03454 040506. Alternatively, if you or anyone you know may benefit from a Free Safe and Well Visit then visit, then log onto https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/safeandwellvisit