2016/04/27

Warning! Cheap chargers can be dangerous and lethal

BY:Mason
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Few months ago, the press widely reported  power cord recalls made by Microsoft and Apple for potential risks.  Apart from these lately recalls, HP recalled over 6 million laptop power cords for fire and burn hazard in 2014.  All these  recalls conveyed a message that the safety of power cords cannot be ignored.  Even the official power cords were not 100% risk-free, not to mention the cheap, third-party chargers.   

The press already reported many cases of house fires and electric shock caused by the third party chargers.  One of the most shocking stories was a 23-year-old Chinese woman electrocuted when she answered her phone while it was charging with a third party charger.  This story was undoubted a warning of using cheap chargers. 

It’s not worth risking your life and property to save the small amounts of money from buying cheap chargers.  In addition, the last thing you want to do is spending extra money on treating your fire burnt family members.

House fires that caused by chargers mostly result from a short circuit.  When a short circuit occurs, a charger will overheat, melt or even emit fire.  Moreover, the fire can burn your house down when you are not around.  A true case of house fires caused by a short circuit is down below.

 

The top half of sofa is burnt by the fire.
Photo courtesy: enews Apr. 25, 2016 Retrieved from http://enews.nfa.gov.tw/issue/970214/images/case.htm

The outer of charger is burnt, however, the electric component inside is untouched.
Photo courtesy: enews Apr. 25, 2016 Retrieved from http://enews.nfa.gov.tw/issue/970214/images/case.htm

The fire spreads from the top to the bottom.
Photo courtesy: enews Apr. 25, 2016 Retrieved from http://enews.nfa.gov.tw/issue/970214/images/case.htm

The wire shows that the short circuit resulted from the wire breakage.
Photo courtesy: enews Apr. 25, 2016 Retrieved from http://enews.nfa.gov.tw/issue/970214/images/case.htm

 

The best precaution against house fires is to stop using the third party chargers. Even if you use official ones, you still have to use them under instructions.  Here are some tips to use chargers properly. 

When you charge your phone, you should fully plug the charger into voltage socket.  Plugging a charger loosely into voltage socket will easily cause a short circuit.  When you unplug a charger, you should unplug it with the plug instead of pulling the wire.  If you unplug a charger by pulling the wire, it will rip the wire off and cause internal wire breakage.  You also need to avoid using a charger at a high-temperature location and charging  when the wire is tangled up.  This will prevent a charger from overheating and the outer coat melting.

Damaged chargers should be replaced with new chargers to prevent a short circuit, an electric leakage, and an electric shock.  Wires  should not be put underneath carpets or pressure which may cause the fracture of internal copper wire.  And, don’t forget to unplug the power cord when it is not in use which can reduce the chances of electric fires. 

 

Reference:

http://enews.nfa.gov.tw/issue/970214/images/case.htm

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