The Dangers of Public Cell Phone Charging

If you’re not from a major city or don’t commute via train, let us impart some wisdom on you: don’t use public power outlets to charge your phone unless it is specifically stated that you can use them!

A man riding the London Overground train was arrested recently (and later “de-arrested”) for using the outlets located on the train to charge his phone. While the outlets are clearly marked for maintenance use only, this man decided to ignore the posted warning.

Unfortunately for him, using these outlets for their unintended use is considered “abstracting electricity” and he was promptly arrested by four police officers on the next station platform. Abstracting (stealing) electricity is punishable by up to five years of jail time.

Even stateside, many public rail lines have clear rules and regulations against using the outlets on train platforms or inside the cars themselves for any type of use except for maintenance and cleaning. To be fair, most of these internal outlets are powered by the train cars themselves and typically get their power from the third rail and associated electronic components. This power is usually unstable, and can completely fry your precious electronics.

So what have we learned? When it comes to public outlets and their posted warnings, it’s truly better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to stop by one of our safe charging stations before you hop on your commuter train. It could mean the difference between 45 minutes of blankly staring at the seat across from you (and whoever may be sitting in it), a completely busted phone, or sweet connectivity- the choice is yours!

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