Electrician, Electrical repair
Written by John Mullen

The Smart Way to Charge

Over 30% of Americans own at least three electronic devices. Typically these are a smartphone, tablet, and desktop or laptop computer. These devices allow us to communicate instantly, work from anywhere, and access almost endless digital and video content. To maximize the lifespan of your devices and prevent damage, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Never overcharge electronic devices. Disconnect them from chargers when they are fully charged. Avoid leaving them plugged in overnight and never leave devices unattended while charging. Devices that are connected for too long can overheat and cause a fire. In addition, overcharging can shorten its lifespan.

When purchasing chargers or power cords, buy brands that are tested and approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Beware of cheap substitutes that may melt, catch fire or spark when in use. It is especially important that devices and chargers are never left on soft surfaces such as a bed, pillow, carpeting, etc. Place devices on a hard surface away from moisture.

In addition to being a fire hazard, a laptop that is left on a soft surface may burn out the computer’s fan. If air cannot circulate freely, your laptop fan will continue to run and eventually fail. Once the fan burns out, the computer can overhead causing damage to the unit, preventing normal functions.

Prevent problems by checking all the cords and connectors regularly to avoid frayed wires or other damage that could cause the charger to malfunction. If any part of the charger or cord is submerged in water, do not re-use it. Spend the money for a new accessory to prevent problems in the future.

If your family members are heavy electronics users, or if you have a home office, don’t overload outlets by adding a multi-outlet plug or extension cords. Consider having an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlet installed by an electrician. An AFCI outlet prevents fires by automatically detecting and shutting down an arcing circuit. JM Mullens’ team of qualified electricians can check your home’s current electrical health and recommend solutions for your individual needs.