Cell phones are ubiquitous in today’s modern culture, with more than 170 million wireless consumers making billions of calls each year in the United States. While the convenience and usefulness of wireless devices add to their growing popularity, it is increasingly important for consumers to follow guidelines on the maintenance of wireless phones and batteries. Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries, which are commonly found in today’s cellular phones, have a lot of energy in a small package. To promote the safe use of cell phones, batteries and chargers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and CTIA-The Wireless Association, the trade organization representing various facets of the wireless industry, recommend the following:
- Do not use incompatible cell phone batteries and chargers. Some Web sites and second-hand dealers, not associated with reputable manufacturers and carriers, might be selling incompatible or even counterfeit batteries and chargers. Consumers should purchase manufacturer or carrier recommended products and accessories. If unsure about whether a replacement battery or charger is compatible, contact the manufacturer of the battery or charger.
- Do not permit a battery out of the phone to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry.
- Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.
- Avoid dropping the cell phone. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the phone and battery. If you suspect damage to the phone or battery, take it to a service center for inspection.
- Do not place the phone in areas that may get very hot, such as on or near a cooking surface, cooking appliance, iron, or radiator.
- Do not get your phone or battery wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
- Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user’s guide.