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Fire department warns people about charging cellphones on your bed

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HAMDEN –The Hamden Fire Department is warning the community that there  has been a rise in fires caused by electronic devices. The latest incident occurred early Wednesday morning, causing a house fire on Franklin Road.

Though that fire had burned itself out and only ventilation of the home was needed, fire officials advise that no cellphones, tablets, or laptops should be left unattended while charging.

Cell phone and tablet chargers need space to breathe, according to fire officials. These devices generate heat during charge cycles that must be dissipated by proper ventilation. Devices that are covered and unable to breathe may build up heat and lead to ignition.

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The lithium-ion batteries used in these devices have pressurized containers that may rupture if the temperature rises quickly or melt down if heated for a long period of time.

The Franklin Road fire was caused by a phone that had ignited bedding and a pillow.

Laptops and tablets should always be placed on a hard flat surface when charging. Never block the air vents on the backs or sides of a laptop.

Bedding, pillows and blankets can easily block airflow and trap heat in the device, so never leave these items on a bed while sleeping, fire officials advise.

Power cords and chargers should be inspected by the user on a regular basis for excessive wear because damaged cords may emit electrical sparks that can start a fire, so damaged or frayed cords should be discarded immediately.

And always unplug chargers that are not in use  they consume electricity even when the device is not charging.