Are long USB-C charging cables a fire hazard?

Anker 3-meter/10-foot 100W USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Not a week goes by that somebody would not ask me about USB-C charging cables, and whether or not it is safer to purchase a shorter charging cable for a smartphone or a laptop computer, as a result of longer cables are extra vulnerable to overheating and will burst into flames.

When I prod the questioner about this, they’re going to admit to having heard or examine “increased resistance” and the way this will trigger overheating. And due to this, they need to select the shortest cable doable.

Not true.

I’m at the moment utilizing a 3-meter/10-foot USB-C to USB-C cable from Anker to cost my 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Proand it is charging the battery at 94W, which is the most effective I’d count on from USB-C charging (if I would like extra, I’d use the 140W MagSafe cable).

The cable is flawless.

macOS system report showing charging currentmacOS system report showing charging current

macOS system report exhibiting charging present

It simply works and would not get sizzling and even heat.

I’ve additionally examined longer cables, together with the 5-meter MicroConnect USB-C cable which additionally helps 100W. Those cables have additionally labored nice.

From a fire security perspective, I’d keep away from two issues right here:

  • Long cables from no-name manufacturers: My expertise with these has been variable. They appear to endure from untimely demise when pushed laborious.
  • Damaged cables: 100W USB-C chargers put out a good bit of energy, and whereas there are a lot of security options constructed into USB-C chargers, a broken cable may nonetheless pose a security problem.

But I’ve one other security concern with long cables. A way more critical security concern than fire.

They’re a journey hazard.

Having long cables trailing concerning the place is a actual hazard. Not solely can tripping on a cable injury individuals, however it could additionally injury the {hardware} they’re related to. And I’ve seen loads of individuals and laptops go flying, all due to long cables.

While long cables might sound useful, they may also be a main ache.

So, when you’re tempted to purchase a long charging cable, think about whether or not you want one or if it is one thing that seems like a good thought however in fact will develop into annoying.


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