Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CPSC and CTIA Team Up To Remind Consumers To Shop Safely For Mobile Device Batteries

You may not think twice about the battery that charges your phone until you have to replace it.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and CTIA-The Wireless Association® have teamed up to educate consumers on how to stay connected and out of harm’s way while using wireless mobile devices, batteries, and chargers.

There are now more people on earth that have access to a mobile phone, than have access to a toothbrush, stated Ian Carrington, mobile and social advertising sales director at Google (Source: MobileMarketing). While this fact may be unhygienic, it also means consumers need to be aware of the dangers that mobile devices pose to their safety if not used in the correct way. Consumers should always take the time to read and follow the manufacture guidelines regarding the maintenance of mobile devices and their batteries.

The batteries that cell phones used are Lithium-ion batteries, which hold a lot of energy in a small package compared to the alkaline batteries found in toys or flashlights. While Li-ion batteries can hold a charge longer, they are also more sensitive to physical stress so consumers must treat them with more care.

CPSC and CTIA recommend the following safety steps for consumers:
1)      Do not use batteries and chargers that are incompatible with your mobile device.  Some websites and secondhand dealers not associated with reputable manufacturers and carriers have been found to be selling incompatible, counterfeit, or poorly manufactured batteries and chargers.  Consumers should purchase manufacturer or carrier recommended products and accessories.  If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible with your mobile device, contact the original equipment manufacturer.  
2)      Do not let a loose battery come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys, or jewelry.  Metal objects can cross the electrical connections and cause an incident. 
3)      Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.
4)      Do not place the phone or batteries in areas that may get very hot, such as on or near a cooking surface, cooking appliance, iron, or radiator. 
5)      Avoid dropping the mobile device.  Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the device and battery.  If you suspect damage to the device or battery, take it to a service center for inspection. 
6)      Do not let your mobile device or battery get wet.  Even though the device will dry and appear to operate normally, the battery contacts or circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
7)      Follow battery usage, storage, and charging guidelines found in the user’s guide.  

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