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Fire chiefs believe many of these fires are being caused by smokers using incompatible chargers. Too much current goes into the batteries, they overheat, and in the worst cases explode - setting fire to any combusitble material it comes into contact with, anything up to 3 metres away from the charger at the time of the explosion. Cllr Jeremy Hilton, chair of teh LGA's Fire Services Management Commitee said "We are urging e-cigarette manufacturers to introduce clear, prominent and graphic new warnings spelling out to users the dangers of using incompatible chargers with e-cigarette batteries. Tragically, at least one life has been claimed and more fatalities could follow unless this issue is addressed rigorously and robustly. We are warning users that it is simply not worth risking their lives to save a few pounds by buying dodgy, dangerous or incompatible chargers".
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service issued safety advice about charging e-cigarettes after the death of a Merseyside man following a fire involving an e-cigarette. An e-cigarette that had been charging in a bedroom exploded and caught fire. An inquest into the man's death was held in October, 2014.
Fire officers are warning about dangers posed by electronic cigarettes, in the first week UK TV advert featuring one of the devices airs. A Ford Transit van was destroyed by fire after an e-cig had been left on charge, exploded and caused nearby paperwork to catch fire.
Two e-cigarette batteries exploded and started fires in two West Yorkshire homes in just 24 hours. West Yorkshire Fire Service has warned it is now being called out to e-cigarette fires more than once a month. In an incident in Bradford, a battery exploded and shot across the room, coming to rest at the foot of a wardrobe, which caught fire.
Fire chiefs have highlighted concerns over the safety of e-cigarettes following a blaze believed to have been caused by an exploding e-cigarette in east London. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued a woman from the ground floor flat. She was suffering from smoke inhalation and shock and was and was taken to hospital.
A young mum scooped up her sons and fled in terror as the flames engulfed her bedroom. The fake fag exploded as it charged.
E-cigarette safety tips
E-cigarette users are advised to follow these safety tips when charging:
- 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
- Do not over tighten the atomiser or when connecting to charger