An 11-year-old boy is lucky to have escaped harm after his tablet overheated ‘burned his mattress down to the springs’.
The tablet had been charging on the 11-year-old’s bed overnight when the incident occurred on Thursday (June 20), with the device becoming too hot and burning through his bedding and mattress.
Luckily, the boy escaped injury as the bedding smouldered rather than setting fully alight. However, the situation could have been much worse.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is now urging everyone to be careful when charging electronic devices, warning people to place their tablets on ‘appropriate surfaces’ and to keep them away from flammables.
Firefighters were alerted to the incident the next morning, when the boy’s father notified those at Lichfield Community Fire Station in Staffordshire. Stuart Ruckledge, firefighter and community safety officer, visited the house in Keepers Close, Burntwood, to figure out what had happened.
A statement released by the fire service describes how the tablet, which was four years old, was plugged into a genuine charger but had become hot while plugged in from 9pm the night before, ‘burning through bedding and the mattress down to the springs’.
Fortunately, it did not develop into a full fire but it did smoulder throughout the night, resulting in a huge hole in the boy’s bed and his room being covered in a layer of black soot.
Firefighter Brad Robins, who also attended the scene, said:
This family has been greatly shocked by what has happened and it serves as a stark reminder not to leave items charging on materials that could catch fire when hot.
Always place phones and tablets on to a safe surface when charging. Make sure you buy genuine chargers for your items and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to register your product in case there is a product recall.
Also ensure that your smoke alarms are working correctly by testing them regularly. This building did not have working smoke alarms which may have alerted the family to the incident earlier.
As the house did not have working smoke alarms, Robins fitted two on the property, as well as one heat detector and one carbon monoxide detector.
The firefighter will also be giving a safety talk to pupils at the Erasmus Darwin School in Chase Terrace within the next few weeks.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).