Fire Warning on E-Cigarette Chargers

E-Cigarette explodes
An e-cigarette being charged on an incompatible charger explodes and bursts into flames within 35 minutes in a controlled explosion carried out by firefighters from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
8th January, 2015

 

A warning about the dangers of exploding e-cigarettes has been issued by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire chiefs have released graphic film footage of an e-cigarette being engulfed in flames after an incompatible charger overheated. Fire officers tested a standard e-cigarette being charged with a non standard charger, which burst into flames after just 35 minutes.

They have caused more than 100 fires nationwide –resulting in one death –although no reported incidents yet in Shropshire.

Group Commander Guy Williams, in charge of fire prevention at the county fire and rescue service, said an increasing number of e-cigarettes are exploding because they are being charged with non standard chargers.

He advised smokers never to leave a charging device unattended and unplug immediately after use. Only use the charger supplied and don’t mix components from different e-cigarettes.

A 62-year-old man in Merseyside died last year after a charger in his bedroom “exploded,” igniting an oxygen tube.

In South Yorkshire, a Ford Transit van was destroyed in a blaze caused by an e-cigarette left charging that set light to paperwork and in West Yorkshire, two batteries exploded and started fires in two homes in 24 hours.

A young mother had to flee her home in the West Midlands with her two young sons as flames engulfed her bedroom after another charger burst into flames and in London, a woman was rescued from her flat.

Fire officials believe many accidents have been caused by smokers not using compatible charges sold with their devices, meaning too much current passes through batteries, making them overheat and explode.

Flammable material can shoot out up to three metres and set light to anything combustible it lands on.

The Chief Fire Officers Association has released a list of safety tips when charging e-cigarettes:

Always use the correct charger and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Never charge a battery that has signs of damage, that has been dropped, or has been subjected to impact
Never plug a charger into a non-approved mains power transformer
Check that your e-cigarette battery has overcharge or overheat protection
Remove the battery from charge when complete – don’t over charge
Never leave a battery on charge unattended
Don’t use if wet or exposed to water
Ensure that you dispose of batteries correctly
Always have a smoke alarm in your home

Specialist fire retardant bags can be bought for around £5 which can be used when batteries are being charged. The bags are designed to contain the battery and charger whilst on charge.

E-cigarettes have rocketed in popularity as a healthier alternative to conventional smoking and are now used by an estimated 2.1 million Britons each year.     

E-cigarettes are battery-powered vaporisers which simulate tobacco smoking by producing an aerosol or vapour that resembles smoke. They use a heating element known as an atomiser (clearomiser), which vaporises a liquid solution known as e-liquid. E-liquids usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, nicotine, and flavourings, while others release a flavoured vapour without nicotine.

 

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