E-cigarettes linked to more than 100 fires
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 |