Based on the widely-publicized recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, you may find yourself wondering, could my phone or device ever be fire hazard? Apart from the Samsung recall (which has been linked to a manufacturing defect) reports of exploding and fire-catching devices are very rare. However, the vast majority of modern devices use lithium-ion batteries, which do contain flammable liquids that can catch fire or even explode under certain extreme conditions.

In today’s world, it’s easy to fall asleep with a charging device by your side. Or perhaps you charge your laptop on a soft chair at your bedside. Devices get fairly hot while charging and these conditions can be unsafe and overheat the device, potentially leading to a fire. We consulted with a local fire fighter who confirmed he has put out several fires that started from devices left on soft surfaces. He advised that one of the key dangers to watch out for is that the device doesn’t end up sandwiched in-between flammable items like pillows and bedding. The best spot for your device (particularly when it’s charging) is on a hard surface, free of flammable clutter such as paper or clothes.

A few other tips from our staff: don’t leave a device plugged in after it has fully charged, as that can cause heat to build up. If you lose the charging cable that came with the device, invest in a quality, name-brand charging cable to replace it. Certainly, if your charging cable shows signs of wear such as exposed wires, get a new one. We pay a lot of money for our devices, so it makes sense to invest a little money in charging them safely. Finally, don’t charge your device in the extreme cold (below 32) or high heat (above 100) — it can cause damage to the battery.

While we’re on the subject, we have lots to offer for your device at Cecil County Public Library. To learn another language, you can use the Rosetta Stone app, free with your library card. Hoopla gives you access to movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks. Try out our OverDrive service for a great selection of eBooks and audiobooks and use Zinio to browse and download magazines. Want to do more on your device using library tools, resources and services? Our librarians and staff are ready to help you at any of our seven branches.


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