Third-party smartphone accessories are often convenient and affordable, especially in a pinch. The facts, however, suggest that using unauthorized things like chargers could put your household at risk.
Even trustworthy companies have problems with their products at times. One couple learned this valuable lesson after a fire almost destroyed their Maryland home recently. The brand behind the power bank is already pulling products from its site.
If you own one of these charging devices, stop using it immediately! Read on for details on this dangerous power bank and what to do if you own one.
Check your Anker power bank — your life may depend on it
An Anker 535 power bank has been determined as the cause of a house fire in Maryland. A number of these phone chargers include a manufacturing defect that has the potential to overheat and catch fire.
The Maryland couple left the charger unattended in a packed suitcase when it combusted spontaneously. The device had not been used in at least a week. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. The homeowners evacuated and were able to contain the fire.
The official announcement can be found here. The model number being recalled is A1366.
To verify the model of your Anker power bank, look at the bottom of the device. If you have a recalled model, you should see 535 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K) and Model: A1366 displayed. You can see an example in the photos below.
If you own one of the recalled power banks, Anker said to follow these safety precautions:
- Immediately stop using this device.
- Store this device in a safe location.
- Do not throw batteries into the trash or recycling bin.
- Please dispose of your device at a facility that accepts Lithium batteries.
- Click here to initiate a refund for your 535 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K) A1366.
You’re entitled to a full refund if you own the recalled power bank. You will need proof of purchase to get the refund.
Smartphone safety tips that might make a huge difference
Wondering about the best way to charge your devices safely? Here are pro tips from our team:
- Try to avoid charging your devices overnight.
- Opt for quality when selecting charging equipment like cables and power banks. Ensure the chargers you use are certified to work with your phone’s brand.
- Choose devices that offer overcharge and surge protection.
- If a public (or personal!) charger looks damaged, frayed or out of order, don’t use it!
- Avoid charging the battery completely or letting it dwindle to zero percent. Keeping your device charged between 30% and 90% is ideal.
If you notice any chargers heating up unexpectedly or failing to charge your gear, it might just be time for an upgrade.
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