The New York Police Department has cautioned people against sleeping with cell phones under their pillows with an alarming tweet showing bedspreads that have been set on fire.
Officers tweeted four pictures of pillows that have had holes burned in them after the cell phone underneath overheated and set light to them.
Fire chiefs have previously warned that sandwiching a charging phone between a pillow and a mattress can cause batteries to overheat and possibly catch fire or explode.
David Berardesca, fire chief from Hamden, Connecticut, told NBC: ‘The cell phone was left on the bed. These devices need areas to be ventilated.
‘It is recommended that you leave these type of devices on a hard surface so the heat can dissipate. The batteries heat up, they could melt – in some cases, explode – and cause a fire.’
He was speaking after a 15-year-old’s bed burst into flames after a charging cell phone caught fire, leading to his home being evacuated at around 4am.
Meanwhile Ariel Tolfree, 13, from Texas, also escaped major burns after her bed set on fire because of a Samsung S4 phone she left charging underneath her pillow.
Tolfree’s father, Thomas, said the phone was charging by her bed back in 2014 but likely slipped under the pillow before overheating.
He told Fox 4: ‘The whole phone melted. The plastic, the glass. You can’t even really tell that it was a phone.’
The image of Tolfree’s bedspread was among the four pictures tweeted by the NYPD, with a spokesman saying the tweet wasn’t related to a specific incident, but was a general safety warning.
At least two of the images appeared to come from the UK, with one being posted by father Dwayne Blanchard, from Leicester, in November last year.
Blanchard explained being woken up by his smoke alarm before discovering that son Brandon’s bed was on fire after he left a cell phone under his pillow.
In another incident, 25-year-old Holly Hewett, from Kent, awoke to find her Samsung phone had begun sizzling while she slept.
After picking up the device it began sparking, and while taking it out of her bedroom the battery swelled up and melted through the plastic casing on the back, the Kent Messenger reports.