From pool parties to fireworks, you'll want your phone handy to snap photos this Fourth of July.
But you may not realize that the Fourth happens to be the most dangerous day of the year for your phone, according to the technology protection company Asurion. Think about it: you are around water, heat, and often in crowds.
Phones left out in the heat on 80 or 90-degree days can overheat, and a phone on the edge of a pool or a boat can end up at the bottom of a lake or swimming pool. So it's important to keep a close eye on your phone and keep it protected from the elements.
Alex Hausfeld is a tech expert with uBreakiFix by Asurion. He says phone accidents last year went up 42% on the Fourth of July compared to any other day of the year.
The big risks to your phone on the Fourth
The main risk: water damage.
"A small splash or quick drop in shallow water might be okay for the device," he said, "but we still recommend getting it dry as soon as possible."
In addition, he says, a cracked screen makes water damage even worse. With a screen crack, Hausfeld said, "There could be corrosion or rust."
So if your phone ends up in the water, he says you should shut it down and not plug it in.
"Charging it could cause the phone to short circuit," he said, "causing more damage than even the water did before."
Then there's heat. Your phone shouldn't be exposed to the sun or left in your car for long periods on a hot day.
"If the phone shuts down forcibly from overheating," Hausfeld said, then it can cause damage or sometimes even melt the components inside of the device."
Prevention is key, so consider a thermal phone case to protect against overheating if you are out in the hot sun. Hausfeld recommends a waterproof case or a zipper-lock plastic bag if you will be at the pool or lake.
Finally, if your phone gets wet, he says to skip the rice, which is not a long-term fix.
"Correct," he said, "the rice won't dry out the inside of the phone."
Instead, he suggests you get help from a local repair expert who can take your phone apart and dry it out correctly.
That way, you don't waste your money.
"Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com