Around the world, online retailers are enjoying a period of unprecedented expansion. Although consumer purchases via smartphone currently account for less than 15% of all online sales, digital commerce as a whole is firmly on track to surpass $250 billion in the next five years. What shoppers may not realize, however, is that using outdated phone chargers and other cell phone accessories may damage new equipment and can also pose a fire safety risk at home.
In general, cell phone cables should be discarded before they become heavily damaged. Like all other household electronics, cell phone cables have the potential to start electrical fires if the cords are exposed or damaged. House fires due to outdated power strip surge protector failure cause more than $1 billion every year, and experts advise making sure that pets and children do not have access to USB cables, cell phone cables, network ethernet cable set-ups, or any outlets throughout the home.
Even the sturdiest highspeed HDMI cables and siamese video cable lines are prone to damage from water, overuse, and “pinching.” For example, cords that get stuck, stepped on, or bent should be replaced; using a power cord with damaged or exposed wiring can damage phone and computer equipment. Any power cord that has been bitten or clawed by a housepet should also be replaced immediately: veterinarians have begun to see a much higher rate of electrocution in puppies and kittens.
USB cables and siamese video cable lines, of course, are sturdier than cell phone chargers, but homeowners are still advised to keep a watchful eye on home electronic connections. Homes with older electrical wiring may need to be updated in order to sustain an acceptable wireless internet connection, and power strips should be checked in order to make sure that they meet national security standards.
Although some websites recommend coating siamese video cable, USB 2.0 cable, and other electronic cords with hot sauce to deter pets and children, the danger of combining liquids and electronics should make homeowners reconsider ways to remove electronic cords from the reach of puppies and younger children. Using PVC pipe to cover cords may be a workable solution, and wireless charging systems can also help avoid damage, injury, and fires.
Although older cell phone cables may look acceptable from the outside, experts still recommend using the cables that come with newer smartphones. Long-term exposure to heat and cold — car cell phone chargers are vulnerable — can degrade electronic cables that were meant to be disposable. Maintaining up-to-date power cords can help phones to charge correctly, and making sure that cords are safely removed from the reach of dogs and cats should work to lower the rate of electrocution and household fires in the next several years.