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31st Oct 2023

Alarming figures show huge number of people charge phones under their pillow


Aviva have voiced their concerns over the number of people who have admitted to charging their phones under their pillows.

The fundamental home fire safety rule is one that we have often echoed to family and friends time and time again, but according to new figures thousands of people are ignoring the dangers.

Figures show that more than one in ten Irish people (11%) are leaving themselves exposed to the serious fire hazard by having their phone charging under their pillow throughout the night.

Parents are being urged to warn their teens and young adults as this percentage jumps dramatically to 45% amongst those aged 18 to 24.

The findings stem from a recent nationwide survey – commissioned by Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva) – involving 1,000 respondents, delving into their home-safety practices, and found that as a nightly fire safety measure, more than half of households (52%) do not consistently close internal doors before going to bed.

Gillian Devereux, Aviva commenting on the findings of the survey said: “The fact that more than one in ten people break the fundamental fire safety rule by charging their phones under their pillow during sleep is hugely concerning. This high-risk practice can lead to overheating, and in some cases, fire incidents especially when the phone is covered by blankets or pillows.”

She went on to say that this “sharp increase in the number of younger adults highlights a potential lack of awareness amongst younger individuals about the risks associated with this habit.

“While charging your phone overnight on a nearby bedside locker or on the floor beside where you sleep is a safer practice, it still poses the risk of overheating or short-circuiting.”

The danger is that “a short circuit can generate sparks or excessive heat, potentially igniting nearby flammable materials. Charging your phone near any kind of flammable materials such as curtains, bedding, or paper can increase the risk of a fire.

“If a spark or heat source escapes from the charger or phone, it can easily ignite these materials. Our strong advice to people is to not charge your phone while you sleep, exposing you and your loved ones to the risk of a fire.

“In addition, closing room doors at night-time is a simple but effective safety precaution that is advised as best practice by safety professionals. But our survey shows that not everyone knows this, and even of those who do, many people forget or simply do not bother to take this nightly step.”