MAY 13, 2016
MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT)-- Experts say off brand chargers lack a safety mechanism which keeps phones from overheating. Now a woman is in serious condition after her cellphone lights her blanket on fire and burns her and her home. Investigators say she was napping with her phone charging next to her. The cell phone overheated which caused the blaze.
Jennifer Mendez, owner of Gadget Clinic, spends most of her day working on cell phones. Thirty percent of her business comes from repairing ones damaged by chargers. "Customers will come in and say I don't know how my phone cracked but when we open the phone the battery is so swollen its caused the screen to actually crack.," she said,
Mendez has a bag full of cracked cellphones and batteries with burn holes. "This one was about to catch fire," she said.
The owner of the shop blames knock-off chargers for the burned batteries and cracked screens. She says the the off-brands do not contain chips. Apple chargers contain a safety chip. "It lets the motherboard know when your phone is charged you don't need anymore juice so it stops sending juice to the phone which causes it not to overheat."
Mendez warns some knock-off companies claim to have the chip in the chargers but she says it's the wrong one and it will damage your phone. Beware of knock-offs stamped with the Apple logo. Stick with purchasing your chargers directly from he manufacture (Apple) or a company which buys directly from the manufacture (Best Buy).
Do not sleep with your phone charging if you must use an off-brand charger. Consider charging it an hour before you go to bed and then again when you wake up.