These days, nobody really sleeps alone.
Sure, there are plenty of people out there who don’t share their bed with a fellow human being (or pet — no judgement). But when bedtime rolls around, our trusty phones are rarely more than an arm’s length away. They’re like the modern adult’s version of a teddy bear.
Some of us keep them on our bedside tables through the night, while some of us opt for the floor. The more
obsessive devoted among us are guilty of sleeping with our one and only next to us on the mattress or under the pillows.
However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that third option is potentially life-threatening if the phone is plugged into its charger overnight.
Skeptical? Take a look at these images tweeted by the New York Police Department earlier this month:
As you can see by the scorched blankets and pillows, spending the night with your phone while it’s plugged in is a risky move.
This is because phone batteries heat up as they charge, and if the device has no ventilation while this is happening — because it’s snuggled up between a mattress and a blanket, for instance — there’s a chance it’ll overheat.
The battery can then melt or explode, causing the phone and any surrounding materials to ignite.
Watch: Women share the last text they received from their best friend. (Post continues after video.)
A charred phone and bedding is bad enough, but this is also a major safety issue for whoever happens to be in the bed. Just last week, an overheated phone caused the death of a UK man who was bedbound due to a brain tumour.
Marek Kruger, 53, was reliant on his iPhone as a way to communicate with his family and carers and to shop online, and always kept it close by. One night the phone, which was charging beneath his pillow, overheated and began emitting toxic fumes that were then inhaled by Mr Kruger.
There have also been several reported cases of charging phones causing beds and parts of homes to catch fire.
Although the NYPD’s message isn’t a new one, it’s certainly a graphic reminder that we’re getting a little too intimate with our phones and it’s putting our safety at risk.
Fire safety experts recommend keeping charging devices on hard surfaces so the heat can dissipate — and regularly checking chords and adapters to ensure they haven’t been damaged.
Sorry, phone. Back to the bedside table you go.
Where do you keep your phone overnight?