Tips: Cell Phone Battery Safety

THERE are more than 230 million cell phone users in the United States today. To promote the safe use of cell phones, batteries and chargers, the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) endorses the following recommendations made by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and CTIA-The Wireless Association, the trade organization representing various facets of the wireless industry:

1. 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.

2. Do not permit a battery outside the phone to come in contact with metal objects. These would include objects such as coins, keys and jewelry.

3. Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the battery. This can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.

4. 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.

5. Do not place the phone in areas that may get very hot. This would include on or near a cooking surface, cooking appliance, iron or radiator.

6. 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.

7. Follow battery usage, storage and charging guidelines found in the user's guide.

PRBA: http://www.prba.org

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