E-cigarettes linked to more than 100 fires

11-11-2014
A number of household fires have occured after electronic cigarettes exploded, after being charged with the wrong device.

    Fire services in the UK are now attending at least one blaze involving the devices each week, a Freedom of Information request shows.

    Data from 43 fire services show that since 2012 they have attended 113 calls to fires related to e-cigarettes. Several took place after users connected the devices to incompatible chargers.

    Fire chiefs have issued safety warnings following a spate of incidents.

    In August David Thomson, 62, was killed when an e-cigarette on charge exploded and ignited oxygen equipment he was believed to have been using. It was thought to be to be the first fatality from a fire involving an e-cigarette in Britain.

Of the incidents where details were available, most took place while e-cigarettes were being charged.

Devices "exploded" while being powered up, while other cases involved batteries rupturing or overheating. Fires also broke out after e-cigarettes were plugged into computers or DVD players.

Chargers rather than the gadgets themselves were suspected to have sparked a large number of the incidents, including a number where the wrong charger was used.

Fire chiefs are particularly concerned about users powering up their devices with cheap or incompatible chargers.

Rechargeable models contain liquid nicotine, a heating element and a battery, which is normally a lithium ion. Using a different charger can cause the e-cigarette to heat up, before the battery fails, potentially causing a small explosion.

Martyn Allen of charity Electrical Safety First said: "Fires caused by charging e-cigarettes are a growing problem and we are becoming increasingly concerned about them.

"People buy cheap or incompatible chargers for many reasons - often to save a few pounds - but you have to ask whether this is worth risking lives for."

 

 

 

Story written by The Telegraph:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11203884/E-cigarettes-linked-to-more-than-100-fires.html

 

            
Collated by Philip Turnbull

 

 

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