Top Tips to Avoid Heat, Water Damage to Your Smartphone

Summer is a time when school is out and we venture outdoors to escape the heat at a local beach, pool or lake, take a vacation to a favorite campsite or explore an unseen location. Smartphones will typically be in tow and utilized to enhance outdoor experiences. Extreme temperature changes can influence how smartphones function, so it’s important to protect a device as you travel and enjoy outdoor summer activities.

U.S. Cellular offers tips to help protect smartphones from heat or water damage:

Protect against water. Consider purchasing a separate water-resistant case for summer activities around water. Cases, such as an OtterBox, DryCase or LifeProof, are options to consider that will still allow normal use of the phone. A less expensive home remedy is to utilize a plastic bag, which will keep a smartphone sealed and safe to avoid damage, that includes sand or dirt. The downside is that functionality is limited while inside the bag.

Know the drying process. Accidents happen, so when a smartphone falls into water or other liquid, the key is to act fast and retrieve the smartphone as quickly as possible. Next, take out the battery. If the phone does not have a removable battery (as is the case with an iPhone), power off the device right away to prevent a possible short circuit. Resist the temptation to “test” the phone to see if it still works. To dry, wipe the smartphone down, use a fan not heat, which can warp circuits, then use desiccant packets to help absorb the water.

Avoid excessive heat or cold. When taking a smartphone outdoors this summer, be mindful of its temperature. Many manufacturers recommend keeping a phone between 32 and 95 degrees. It’s a good idea to keep a phone in the shade and not store it in the car, where temperatures can climb to between 130 and 172 degrees. You also should keep smartphones away from other devices, which can share and compound the heat they produce. If a device overheats, the internal components may become damaged and cause data loss or a dead battery. If a phone is overheating, it will likely display a temperature warning screen. If you happen to see this, turn the phone off immediately and begin a cooling process. If it does overheat, don’t cool it too fast. Rushing the cooling process can produce condensation inside the internal components and lead to water damage.

Utilize your wireless carrier. For peace of mind, ask about insurance or data backup options when you purchase a wireless device. Later, if you suspect the phone is not working due to water or heat damage, take the phone to your wireless carrier, who can sometimes fix it when home remedies do not work. Be honest about what happened and walk a wireless associate or technician through the steps already taken to try and fix it.

Many wireless carriers offer device protection that includes device replacement, tools to backup data and malware protection. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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