Why shouldn’t you charge your phone while you’re sleeping?

Science and Health

A firefighter from Kent explained why it’s dangerous to charge cellphones overnight in a TikTok posted by the Kent Fire and Rescue Station this week.

All three reasons related to the dangers of batteries or chargers causing fires, and as the account wrote in the comments, the fire station makes it’s recommendations “based on real incidents that actually happened and caused the loss of lives.”

So why shouldn’t you charge your phone overnight?

Smells don’t register in sleep

“Reason number one – you cannot smell anything when you’re asleep,” said the firefighter in the video. 

Two cellphones charging. (credit: PEXELS)

This means that if your charger causes a fire, the smell of smoke won’t wake you up and alert you to the fire.

You can lose consciousness fast

“Number two, it only takes three breaths to knock you unconscious,” the firefighter continued. 

This means that even if the smell of smoke does wake you up, you would likely lose consciousness before you were awake enough to register what was happening and able to take action against it.

The charger could be the thing causing the fire

Most fires caused by electronics being charged are started because the battery overheats when being charged for too long, but the third reason that the Kent fire station gave for not charging phones overnight is that cheap chargers can be the ones to cause fires. The firefighter added that even the original charger that comes with the phone can sometimes cause fires though.

“If you can, we recommend charging your phone only when you’re awake.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Station

“If you can, we recommend charging your phone only when you’re awake,” the firefighter ended the video. “It’s much safer.”