Wiley Day, 32, of Huntsville, Alabama, believes he is lucky to be alive after being almost electrocuted while sleeping with his cell phone charging in his bed. According to a WAAY-TV news report, Day was treated for second and third degree burns on his neck and hands. Day fell asleep in his room with his dog tag around his neck. While sleeping with his cell phone plugged in, the chain to his dog tag slipped between the charger and the extension cord essentially becoming a sort of conductor.
While being shocked, Day said he was able to break the chain from his neck. Doctors said about 100 volts of electricity could kill a person. A doctor told the news channel that Day was hit with about 100 volts and that he is in fact fortunate to be living and breathing today. Day says it’s the last time he’ll sleep with the phone on the charger in the bed. He is expected to recover from his injuries.
Danger in the Palm of Your Hand
When we talk about cell phone dangers, there is a lot of talk about radiation and tumors and cancer. But, more recently, we’ve heard about problems with circuitry and the battery, which together pose two real dangers: risk of shock and risk of fire or explosion. The lithium-ion batteries that power cell phones usually present the fire hazard. These batteries are basically a series of electrodes and contacts, which store energy. If improperly discharged, punctured, or overheated, a battery could catch fire or explode. When it comes to circuitry, a short in the system can cause the device to shock you or lead to overcharging or overheating. This could also cause the battery to catch fire or explode.
Cell Phone Safety Tips
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides the following safety tips to cell phone uses:
- Do not use third-party batteries because they don’t ensure consistency in components. It’s better to use the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) batteries.
- Avoid hot places and storing batteries near metal. Avoiding excess heat and the risk for electrical shortage is another logical step to ensure your smartphone’s safety.
- Check saferproducts.gov where you can personally report product safety concerns. On this website, you can search or track any report ever made on a product, and see action taken by CPSC as a result of the report.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a faulty battery, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Contact an experienced product defect attorney for more information about your legal rights and options.