Portable power bank. Photo: iStock

A 24-year-old man was injured after the portable power bank for his mobile phone caught fire in his home in Tuen Mun, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, early on Wednesday.

At 1am, when the victim surnamed Ng was sleeping in an apartment in Fu Tai Estate in Tuen Mun, the battery pack, which was placed near his bed, ignited, news website HK01.com reported.

Ng said he heard a beeping noise for between three and five seconds before he saw the fire break out. He used a blanket to put out the fire, but in the process suffered burns to his right thumb, and later was sent to hospital for medical treatment. Photos showed that the bed, blanket and mattress were burned in the incident.

Ng said he had owned the power pack for about a year, and had chosen it because its brand name made him confident that it should meet the necessary safety requirements.

The Hong Kong Consumer Council last year found wide disparities in the quality of power packs for mobile devices. Nine of the devices it tested failed to comply with safety requirements, while four were more than 40% short of their claimed power capacity.

The council advises consumers to disconnect the charger plug from the power supply when charging is complete.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, XPower, the manufacturer of the power bank, apologized to Ng and said he was covered by the company’s insurance scheme. It added that it could not rule out the possibility that the power bank had been damaged by a physical blow, such as being dropped, before the accident.

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