Wilkes Public Safety bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 due to fire hazard

As of Sept. 19, due to recent safety concerns, Wilkes University has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phone from all campus buildings and vehicles.

Since the Galaxy Note 7’s release, there have been 92 cases the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission attributed to fires caused by the phone’s overheating battery. There have been an estimate of 1 million units effective due to a specific manufactured battery.

Like the hoverboard ban in early 2016, Public Safety banned the phone for fire hazard concerns; especially in residence halls where students would be charging the phones.

“It’s a ban, but it’s more of one that needs to be self policed,” stated Justin Kraynack, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer of Public Safety, “Calling it a ban raises awareness about it.”

On Sept. 15, Samsung Electronics announced a safety recall and exchange program for the Galaxy Note 7.

According to Samsung, “Since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, if you own a Galaxy Note 7, it is extremely important to stop using your device, power it down and immediately exchange it using our U.S. Note 7 Exchange Program.”

Since then, Samsung posted a guide on their website, samsung.com/us/note7recall , on how to check if a phone is defective. All newer units have identifiers; a special label on the new unit’s packaging and a green battery symbol on the phone’s charging screen.

Student Miriam Finkelstein, who has a defective Galaxy Note 7, is considering participating in the recall, “I was bummed but I knew the stores were going to get a new lot of them that didn’t explode or have any issues. It was more of an inconvenience when the school banned them but it wasn’t that inconvenient.”

If a student has a defective Galaxy Note 7, Public Safety recommends taking it to the appropriate service provider for an exchange or refund immediately.

The University may reconsider this ban if the danger of fire is eliminated in the future.