Why You Should Not Leave Your Laptop, Tablet or Phone Charging!

@owlwings (40029)
Cambridge, England
March 22, 2016 6:34am CST
Nearly everyone who has a phone, a tablet or a laptop will have left the device on charge overnight or while they were out but it can be very dangerous. This family in Melbourne, Australia lost their rented home and everything in it because they left a laptop plugged in to the charger while they were out. The lithium battery in the laptop exploded and started a fire which destroyed the house completely. How often do you leave your devices on charge? I know that I frequently do but now I shall be making sure that they are unplugged when they have reached fiull charge and especially when I'm asleep or going out! Read the full story here:
A fire has completely destroyed the home in Doncaster, in Melbourne's east on Sunday. Luckily the residents: a young couple and their ten-month-old baby were not home at the time.
18 people like this
23 responses
@Asylum (48215)
• Manchester, England
22 Mar 16
I always leave such items on charge, which is by far the easiest way. My mobile phone goes on charge every night and is unplugged when I wake up.
7 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 16
Me too. When I bought my iPad, the salesman recommended doing this. It was his habit and is mine now. The charger turns off when the iPad (or iPhone) is fully charged. There is no risk of fire. I also have smoke detectors and lots of insurance.
6 people like this
@Asylum (48215)
• Manchester, England
22 Mar 16
@ElizabethWallace There will always be the occasional problem, which will be due to faulty equipment or extenuating circumstances.
4 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 16
@Asylum Sure, but that is true of all types of machinery and electronics. Which is why it is wise to have smoke alarms and insurance.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (141210)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Mar 16
This is a worry although mostly we wouldn't leave them charging overnight.
5 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 16
I only charge my phone when the battery is low, and that means sometimes I plug it in when I go to bed. The reason I do that is because my phone is also my alarm clock, so it has to be on and charged.
2 people like this
@owlwings (40029)
• Cambridge, England
24 Mar 16
@Carmelanirel2 I'm sure that many people do that. There is a certain level of risk which one has to consider acceptable. Phone batteries don't explode often enough for it to be unacceptable for us to put them on charge at night. Likewise, major earthquakes don't happen often enough in California for people not to build and live in large cities there!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 16
@owlwings I have started the habit of leaving my phone on the table instead of on the bed, because I heard they can start fires.
1 person likes this
@rina110383 (24065)
22 Mar 16
I've seen news similar to this here in my country but they involve cell phones charged overnight. I charge my laptop while I work so I can guard it. Same is true with my phone, I do it while working.
4 people like this
@thesids (22351)
• Bhubaneswar, India
22 Mar 16
Somewhere I had read about a few brands of cellphones who explicitly mentioned that Handsets should not be charged during calls or even during use. They cited some issues with the lithium batteries and even mentioned that these can explode. I dont know if that is true or not, but I would say, be watchful, coz many a times accidents do not come with warnings
3 people like this
@rina110383 (24065)
22 Mar 16
@thesids I don't charge them while on use. In fact, I even rarely charge it (off mode) because I rarely use it.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (45848)
• Uzbekistan
22 Mar 16
The article says that they didn't have insurance. Good God!
3 people like this
@owlwings (40029)
• Cambridge, England
22 Mar 16
I know. Many people don't have insurance, especially if they are renting property, mostly because they are on the edge of insolvency, of course, but also for other reasons, perhaps because they are in between properties and insurance companies typically require an address. As always, the media report doesn't give enough information.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
22 Mar 16
I do all of the time too, I suppose crazy things will be known to happen, guessing this is like getting hit by lightning, we all are out in storms but only a few people get lit up
3 people like this
@JolietJake (51067)
• United States
22 Mar 16
The only device I have to charge is my phone, and it only takes about 30 to reach a full charge, so I do it while I am on here early of a morning.
3 people like this
@LdeL0318 (6435)
• Philippines
22 Mar 16
I usually let my iPad in a charging state overnight. I know it's dangerous so I must try to avoid doing that.
3 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 16
It must have been old. The new chargers turn off after the item is fully charged. They do this for this exact reason.
2 people like this
@owlwings (40029)
• Cambridge, England
22 Mar 16
Most (if not all) are supposed to turn off but the controller for this is part of the circuitry in the device. If it fails, then this is what can happen.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 16
@owlwings Yes. So it is good to replace them before they get too old.
• United States
22 Mar 16
I put my laptop in 'sleep' mode when I've finished with it in the evening. My laptop is always plugged in. I don't have those other gadgets.
2 people like this
@owlwings (40029)
• Cambridge, England
22 Mar 16
Strictly speaking, it would be safer to remove the battery from the laptop if it's always plugged in to the power socket. The hardware which controls the charging current (and which caused the problem in this particular story) is part of the battery. If you remove the battery, you avoid this particular problem. The laptop will still work as normal if it's plugged in without the battery.
• United States
22 Mar 16
@owlwings The battery compartment requires a special tool to open that compartment. My previous laptop I could take it out, not that I ever did. Mine isn't charging since I never run it on battery.
@celticeagle (121017)
• Boise, Idaho
23 Mar 16
I put my mobile game device on charge after playing it late at night. And it often is charged long before I wake up. Why don't they switch off automatically?
2 people like this
@owlwings (40029)
• Cambridge, England
23 Mar 16
I think that most, if not all, lithium batteries and other charging systems have a protection system which shuts off the actual charging of the battery when it is full. It can't, however, switch off the mains power to the transformer and it can't, therefore, stop the charging lead from presenting a voltage to the device. It's the danger of the protective circuit malfunctioning which is really the problem, of course, and that is why it is advisable to unplug it whenever possible.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (55157)
• United Kingdom
22 Mar 16
I never leave my laptop plugged in, but I do my phone. I often forget about it, but I'll try not to from now on after reading this.
2 people like this
@destimona (1914)
• Luxembourg, Luxembourg
22 Mar 16
I do charge my mobile phone during day time.I don't have any other device to charge.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 16
I often worry about leaving my electronics to charge. Scarey thought that the battery could explode and cause a fire. One never thinks of these things until you hear about it actually happening.
2 people like this
@Tampa_girl7 (27476)
• United States
22 Mar 16
That is scary. I do this everyday.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 16
Oh.... I actually didn't start leaving my laptop plugged in when I first got it, but then as time went by and it got old, the battery only lasts about an hour..so yeah, I leave it plugged in. However, since I now have a desktop, the laptop is in the back room and is still used, but not often and mostly by my husband. Perhaps I should try to get him to get into the habit of unplugging..Thanks for the post, you may have saved our lives/home.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (40029)
• Cambridge, England
24 Mar 16
If you always leave the laptop plugged in, it's safer to remove the battery entirely, then there's no risk of it exploding. Many people don't realise that a laptop will work perfectly well on the power supply alone and without the battery pack installed.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 16
@owlwings Oh, yeah, I am not mechanically (or technology) inclined, so the laptop can be used without the battery? That is great, thanks.
• Stanton, Kentucky
22 Mar 16
This is scary, my grandkids always seem to have something charging.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (122428)
• United States
22 Mar 16
Thank you for this advice. I often leave the house with my laptop hooked to the charger. My phone too. Will not do so any longer thanks to your warning.
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (4857)
• United States
22 Mar 16
That is sad for that family. We don't leave ours charging overnight. Have a blessed day
1 person likes this
@marguicha (106012)
• Chile
22 Mar 16
Thank you very much for telling us that! I usually leave my cellphone charfing at night.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
23 Mar 16
When I charge my mobile or laptop I do not leave it unattended. If I am going outside, I will switch off the plug. I know it could be dangerous not to be around when mobile/laptop is charging. I am sorry to hear about the incident. One must be where careful with gadgets.