Warning issued after tablet device burns hole in sleeping boy's mattress

Photo: Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Photo: Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service 

A UK fire and rescue service has issued a warning for people to be vigilant about not charging their devices overnight on bedding after an 11-year-old boy awoke to find his bed burnt "down to the springs" from his Samsung tablet.

A report written by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service detailed the incident which involved the boy waking to a room covered in black soot and a smouldering hole in his mattress.

"The family bought the tablet brand new four years ago and it was connected to the genuine charger, but had become hot whilst plugged in from 9pm the night before, burning through bedding and the mattress down to the springs. Fortunately for the family, it did not develop into a full fire but had smouldered throughout the night."

The boy's father placed a report later that morning with the Lichfield Community Fire Station and staff went to investigate.

Brad Robins - a firefighter at the station - said, "This family has been greatly shocked by what has happened and it serves as a stark reminder not to leave items charging on materials that could catch fire when hot."

Mr Robins listed the correct procedures for charging electronic devices.

  • "Always place phones and tablets on to a safe surface when charging.
  • Make sure you buy genuine chargers for your items and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Be sure to register your product in case there is a product recall.
  • Also ensure that your smoke alarms are working correctly by testing them regularly. This building did not have working smoke alarms which may have alerted the family to the incident earlier."

The family home was subsequently fitted with a smoke alarm system including a heat detector and a carbon monoxide detector, with staff due to visit local schools in the area to deliver education to children on the dangers of charging devices.


The alarming incident didn't stop some making their thoughts heard on the station's Facebook post.

"With all due respect, is this not common knowledge? I understand it isn't parenting 101 but should the parent not check if the charger is so close to the bed? Especially in a day and age driven by "gadgets".

The mother of the boy replied, " I am the mother and he broke the rules and snook [sic] it to bed! We are not bad parents."

The post has been shared more than 8,000 times and received more than 2,000 comments to date.

It is not publicly known which Samsung model it was.