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Stay tech-smart in the summer heat

Jessica Cain

Summer’s here, and the sun is soaring in the sky. Electronics experts say it’s a great time to make sure you’re properly taking care of your devices in the heat.

"When we have heat waves and things like that, you are approaching the bounds where it may actually be reaching an unsafe operating temperature that may harm the functionality of the device, or in some rare cases, pose a danger to you,” said Syracuse University support analyst Jon Ryan.

Ryan said most smart phones will show you a warning when they start to get too hot. Other times, the device may need to be repaired or even replaced if it reaches an unsafe temperature.

"These are glass and metal slabs,” he said. “They are things that retain heat very, very easily. So, once they get hot, they stay hot for a while. They don't sweat. They don't breathe to kind of regulate their temperature."

Devices are designed to be used by people, so usually, if you feel OK in your environment, your device will be OK, too. However, Ryan said one exception may be your car.

"When you're in the car on even a day that's comfortable for you, when the windows are rolled. It's the sun beating through glass on a bunch of inorganic material that might still reach temperatures that are not good for your device," he said.

He also said if you’re jogging during a heat wave, you may want to keep your phone out of your pocket and avoid using it for music on your run to keep its temperature down.

Good electronic hygiene is another thing to keep in mind. Ryan recommends re-starting smart phones at least once a week and running any available updates.

Plus, if you’re staying cool with water, make sure you protect your devices from getting too wet. Getting accidentally sprayed with a sprinkler is probably fine. Jumping into a pool with your phone in your pocket is probably not.

"The key word is water resistant,” said Ryan. “It is not waterproof. Those are designed so that in the event of an accident, they're fairly robust, but one should not tempt fate."

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.