Fire hazard posed by personal electronic devices

What happened?
A fire incident occurred in a seafarer’s cabin due to a faulty mobile phone charger. The charger was left plugged in while unattended and an electrical short circuit ignited some paper on a desk.
Similar incidents can occur with other personal electronic devices, such as laptop computers, radios, and gaming systems.
Fires reported involving personal electronic devices have been attributed by the following causes:
• Inappropriate use of an electronic device;
• Use of defective electronic devices and extension cords;
• Overloading an extension cable or multi-outlet adapter;
• Overloading electrical circuits by plugging too many devices into a single outlet;
• Storing combustible materials (such as paper and clothing) on or under electrical devices.

What actions were taken?

The Master was to remind all crew to:

  • Unplug electronic devices when unattended or not in use;
  • Inspect electronic devices and associated cords before use;
  • Not to store any flammable or combustible materials on or under electronic devices;
  • Ensure that voltage and frequency of an electrical device is compatible with the vessel electrical system.

Members may wish to refer to: