Hidden fire danger is likely lurking in your home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hidden fire danger is likely lurking in your home

(KLTV) - Since most us probably have a phone charger plugged in at home right now, we decided to do an investigation to see how exactly a phone charger can cause a fire.

Some experts say even though it's uncommon, a charger can spark a fire.

Smith County Fire Marshal Oren Hale says cell phone chargers cause about a dozen fires in the United States every year.

Here in East Texas, Hale says there's an average of two to three a year.

Electrical Contractor Benny Swan says, "The fact of the matter is that the voltage is inside of the device, and so as long as it's present when the component fails, that's where you've got the short."

Swan says if your phone charger is plugged into the wall, electricity is constantly flowing, whether your phone is hooked up or not.

"It would take a short circuit inside of the charger for it to malfunction and that could come from any component. Now a days, most components are electronic, so as with anything... could malfunction and typically it could be because of a surge," explained Swan.

But Swan says there's also a chance it's not entirely the phone charger's fault, "It could actually be that the phone charger is plugged into a plug and it just so happens that the plug decided to burn up on the back side of the plug."

Swan says the best way to decrease your chances of a fire is to unplug your electronics if they're not being used.

Experts also say a power strip is a good investment. That way, you can switch the power off, without having to unplug everything.

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