TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service recently responded to a fire started by an electronic charging device. Several causes of fires concerning electronic devices include: overcharging of devices, improper placement, improper maintenance, mechanical malfunctions and carelessness by user of the device.

Tuscaloosa Fire wants to offer you a few safety tips to help prevent fires or injuries caused from electronic charging devices.

Always place the device on a hard surface before charging: This will allow adequate ventilation.

Avoid placing the device on a soft surface, such as a bed or sofa: Soft materials can block airflow vents and cause the device to overheat.

Avoid using the device while charging: This will reduce the chances of being burned if the device were to catch fire or explode.Charge your device in small bursts, rather than extended periods of time.Always shut down the device before placing in carrying bags.

Keep the vents clear: On a laptop or other similar device, keep vents clear of lint and debris and use a cooling device if possible.

Replace any piece of the device that does not work properly: Power cords and chargers should be inspected by the user on a regular basis for excessive wear because damaged cords may emit electrical sparks that can start a fire, so damaged or frayed cords should be discarded immediately.

Always unplug chargers that are not in use: they consume electricity even when the device is not charging