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Teen's Samsung Galaxy phone catches on fire under her pillow

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Plenty of people tend to fall asleep with their phones in their beds at night, but one 13-year-old's tale is cautionary, to say the least. KDFW has the story of the Texas teen, Ariel Tolfree: "She says it slipped under her pillow as she fell asleep. The smell of something burning woke her in the night."

Definitely a scary situation that could have been much worse. Ariel Tolfree had a Samsung Galaxy S4. Her dad told KDFW he thinks the phone overheated and the battery swelled while she slept.

Now, the battery was not original to the phone; it was a replacement. And Samsung's manual does contain a warning: "Use of a non-Samsung-approved battery or charger may present a risk of fire, explosion, leakage, or other hazard."

A piece on phone safety from Digital Trends emphasizes that third-party batteries are dangerous - they aren't necessarily compatible with your phone.

But even with the approved company battery, phones can be dangerous.

A quick Internet search reveals several stories of Samsung phones catching fire this year alone: Huffington Post, Emirates 24/7, and Business Insider all covered phones igniting.

Samsung's not the only one: there are headlines about iPhones igniting, too, says Apple Insider. Now sometimes, there's user -- well, we'll call it error. According to International Business Times, one man who said his Samsung Galaxy exploded later revealed he'd previously microwaved the phone.

And sleeping with phones poses a very real potential danger -- Apple's manual even says, "Don't sleep or place a device or power adapter under a blanket, pillow, or your body when it's plugged into a power source."

Of course, just like we often sleep with our phones, we often don't read user manuals. Be safe with your phones, but Digital Trends also reminds us, "You're far more likely to be struck by lightning, give birth to quadruplets, or be an Olympic medal winner than get hurt from your phone."

See the full report:

Join the discussion

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gottabewv July 28 2014 at 2:50 PM

Geeeee… It never occurred to me to put an ELECTRICAL DEVICE UNDER MY PILLOW!!! Man where has the common sense gone? It's OK though… Sure Daddy has already bought her a new one and in a few years she can join the millions of other empty heads who think talking while driving will NEVER cause THEM to be in an accident!

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5 replies
Amy July 28 2014 at 2:39 PM

Why are we now sleeping with our phones?! She's 13! What happened to a good stuffed animal?

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6 replies
John July 28 2014 at 2:12 PM

Again the headline makes you think the Phone was at fault. It should have said "Use of a non approved replacement battery causes a fire in Teens phone."

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2 replies
nebrostx John July 28 2014 at 3:54 PM

A little ambiguous. But yours is just as bad. Even the manufacturer's batteries can do the same thing.

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gramargo John July 28 2014 at 4:18 PM

How about "fire in teen's phone caused by placing it where it shouldn't have been placed"?

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Dan July 28 2014 at 2:17 PM

FGS when you go to bed, shut yer d@** phone off and put it away! At the risk of sounding sexist, it always seems that girls & young women more than boys or men can't stand to be even a few yards away from their D@** cell phones. ☺

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4 replies
cgssnavickas July 28 2014 at 2:53 PM

She did 3 things wrong: 1. She had a replacement battery that wasn't made for the phone. 2. She smothered the phone, all electronic devices need to "breathe" so they won't overheat. 3. She didn't bother reading the manual, which clearly states that you need to have the phone rest on a hard surface. So many of these teenagers rely on their phones nowaydays. I'm willing to bet her parent(s) aren't even going to punish her, she'll end up getting a new phone free of charge.

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1 reply
SanityCoaster cgssnavickas July 29 2014 at 12:30 AM

Do you really think a 13 year old is going to read a manual?? Hum, not likely. Having said that you forgot one other thing she did that was wrong (Or more like her stupid parents...) she is 13 with a smart phone. What 13 year old NEEDS a smart phone? Absurd.

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barryaclarke July 28 2014 at 3:35 PM

That's is so sad that teens and even pre-teens have to sleep with their phones to make sure they don't miss a call, tweet, or text message. Parents should have them turn the phones "OFF" so these kids can get a good nights sleep...........

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1 reply
Mustang barryaclarke July 28 2014 at 9:27 PM

I am 60 and when I was a teen if I could have I would have slept with my phone. My parents wouldn't even let have one in my room.

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1 reply
English Mustang July 29 2014 at 2:20 AM

are you sure it wasn't a dial phone you wanted to sleep with. Was the cell phone invented at that time?

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yayabeanes July 28 2014 at 2:32 PM

Why was this 13 year old phone under her pillow...Hiding it from the parents so they won't snoop to see what she's really up to?

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3 replies
sccafc71 July 28 2014 at 2:09 PM

Darwin was right! But. it's too bad attorneys make millions off the stupid.

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1 reply
plumeria162 sccafc71 July 28 2014 at 2:23 PM

Often thy make millions for the stupid, as well.

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Apple July 28 2014 at 2:22 PM

Quit sleeping with your cell phones people. Quit housing your cell phones against your skin for extended periods of time during the day as well. The general human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The cell phone automatically heats up the longer your on it. Combine the progressive heating of the cell phone with an external temp of nearly 100 degrees and I think that's the p[perfect storm for combustion don't you?

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mgt0331 July 28 2014 at 2:04 PM

More than likely, this was staged. Check Mom and Dad finances, probably need money.

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1 reply
nebrostx mgt0331 July 28 2014 at 3:53 PM

I doubt it. people are just stupid when it comes to battery risk. Laptops do this too.

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