You may want to think twice before using your smartphone or tablet in bed. Though we already know these devices can negatively impact sleeping habits, according to a new PSA posted on Facebook by a fire department in New Hampshire, they can also become a safety issue for you and your family.
The Newton Fire Department recently shared a photo of burned sheets and pillows beside a charger as proof that this could happen to anyone — and it's a sleeping habit that could be putting children and teens at risk, in particular.
According to Popsugar, research also shows that 72% of kids and 89% of teens use at least one device in their "sleep environment" based on a National Sleep Foundation poll in 2013. "The likely result is that the pillow/bed will catch fire," the fire department added. "This places the child/teen as well as everyone else in the home in great danger."
It's key for parents to warn their kids and grandkids about the dangers of sleeping next to their smartphone, but it's equally as important to pay close attention to where chargers are placed throughout the rest of your house.
To protect yourself and your device, always use an official charger, says Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute. "To check if a charger is Apple certified, look for the 'Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad' logo," she says. "Avoid charging in extreme environmental conditions — too hot or too cold — and charge your device out of any case, as that can generate excess heat."