Leaving the cell phone cable plugged in: is that dangerous?


An old myth has it that leaving your charger plugged in creates a fire hazard. But is it really true? You will get the answer in this article.

You may have wondered if leaving the charging cable plugged in could be dangerous. Here’s what you should know… (Source: vorobevaola /

  • Many people do not unplug their chargers after charging their smartphones, but leave them in the socket unused.
  • Such a procedure is absolutely harmless, especially with modern and qualitatively acceptable chargers, and does not cause any significant electricity costs.
  • It only becomes dangerous when a cheap or broken no-name power supply overheats. These poor quality devices can quickly become a real fire hazard.

The controversy over whether leaving chargers plugged into outlets can be dangerous is almost as widespread as the question of the meaning of life. The popular myth is that such an approach could be reflected in the electricity bill or even pose a fire hazard. We clarify here whether this is really true.

Leaving it in the socket is only dangerous to a limited extent

We can give easygoing smartphone users the all-clear: with modern chargers, there will be no serious consequences if left plugged in. Because high-quality devices are built in such a way that they do not overheat or cause other problems, especially when not in use.

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It only becomes dangerous when a cheap power pack is used. These no-name models are often made of cheap materials that cannot guarantee adequate fire protection. There is a risk of fire if it overheats. Defective chargers can also behave in a similar way – and it is often not possible to tell whether a charger is defective. An indication of this would be, for example, a buzzing during operation or permanent overheating. The power pack should then be disposed of immediately.

Electricity costs when plugged in are not worth mentioning

Another concern many users have: Do left-in chargers increase electricity bills? The answer is yes, but they are not significant. More specifically, the operating costs of the charger are around two euros per year per charger, although the amount can of course add up if there are several chargers in the house.

But how can it be that the charger consumes electricity even though it is not charging a mobile phone? This is due to the transformer that is plugged into the charger. It transforms the mains voltage from 230 volts alternating current into a few volts direct current so that the smartphone can be charged. This transformer runs even when no smartphone is plugged in – it works like a separate end device.

Maybe you want to charge your devices wirelessly. There are loading areas that blend inconspicuously into your home. We also name some cell phones that you can charge quickly via wireless charging.

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