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An 18-year-old woman from Norfolk, Virginia suffered a major burn after falling asleep on her charging iPhone.
Raele Manning-Moore still has the scar from the injury, which occurred around a month ago. The incident left her with a half-dollar size burn on her upper arm, according to local media.
“I hope my phone is never going to burn me again,” she told WOWK. “I’ve never been in that much pain ever.”
Manning-Moore said it all started when she fell asleep next to her charging iPhone 7. After a while, she was awakened by pain. “The burn woke me up, burning so bad it was like really hurting.”
The 18-year-old said she believes her phone became overheated because she was lying on it.
“I was like ‘wow, my phone literally just burned me to the point that there’s a blister’” she said. “My skin is gone.”
When she took the iPhone 7 to her local Apple Store, staff told her they’d need to look at the device. Apple employees still have the phone two weeks later, leaving Manning-Moore phone-less.
Reportedly, Apple staff inquired whether Manning-Moore was using a first-party charger. She said she was. It isn’t currently clear what exactly caused the overheating or the burn.
This isn’t the first time that a smartphone has caused burn injuries. For the most part, these injuries are caused by overheating or faulty lithium-ion batteries.
Charging iPhones are especially at risk for overheating. Handsets will naturally heat up when plugged in, though usually within normal operating temperatures. But covering a charging device with your body mass, a pillow or other object can stop it from properly dissipating heat.
So while it’s safe to charge your iPhone near you — even overnight — it’s incredibly important that you keep the device safely on a bedside table or somewhere it won’t be smothered. Similarly, always use first-party or MFi-certified charging hardware, since counterfeit or cheaply made chargers can also pose overheating and fire hazards.