A Sunshine Coast mother says she is happy to be alive after waking at 2am to a smoke-filled room, with her mobile phone “glowing red hot like an element” as it charged on the bedside table.
Charlene Orchard put her Samsung S6 on to charge before going to bed in a room with her four-year-old daughter Ashley and their dog Sam.
“First of all it was panic and my first priority was to get everybody out of the room, but then get the handset out of the wall, away from the curtains,” she said.
“I took the handset outside, but afterwards the panic passed and the shock started to set in that it could’ve been much, much worse.
“When you sit and you reflect back, you take in all of the scenarios. It could’ve been very bad for everybody, loss of property and possibly loss of life.
“You start to count your blessings that we got out of it very well in this instance, but then your concern starts to worry about other people who may not even be aware that this is an issue.”
Samsung this week issued a recall of more than 50,000 Galaxy Note7 smartphones, a newer model than Ms Orchard’s phone.
The Sunshine Coast mother said while the mass recall related to a different model phone, she was still concerned.
“My concern is that everybody’s focusing on 7s and … [what if] it’s not the phone issue, but actually a battery issue or a charging issue and nobody’s being made aware of it? Then people are walking around with time bombs.
“It looks exactly the same as any 7 that caught fire and that’s my concern.”
Samsung needs to demonstrate phone’s safety: Choice
Tom Godfrey, from Australian consumer advocacy group Choice, told ABC Local Radio it was imperative for Samsung to address the issue, particularly on the back of the company’s recall of more than 144,000 washing machines after concerns they could catch fire.
“It is deeply concerning because clearly that phone sounds incredibly dangerous,” Mr Godfrey said.
“I think the challenge for Samsung will be to demonstrate that this isn’t just a one-off problem with the earlier model.”
Ms Orchard said she hoped hers was an isolated case.
“I don’t want to create a wave of panic … but the most important thing is that we don’t lose life, and property doesn’t get damaged,” she said.
“As consumers we have a right to know that the property we are using is safe … one case is enough.”