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E-cigarette Fire Safety

Electronic cigarettesStories of exploding e-cigarettes are still making the headlines. Just 3 weeks ago an ex-smoker, from Abertillery, plugged his e-cigarette into his laptop, only for it to explode into flames 2 feet high just 10 minutes later.

Why are they a hazard?

Most of the problems occur when the electronic cigarettes are being over-charged. Some versions of the e-cigarettes don’t have the ability to switch off once their battery is fully charged. The lithium ion batteries of some e-cigarettes don’t have overheat protection, and continue taking on heat until the coil inside the battery explodes. At its worst, this can cause direct damage to people. Another consequence is that a fire can be started by sparks or hot matter touching nearby carpets, paper or anything else flammable. More recent models have rectified this problem, which is why it’s important to buy your electric cigarette from a reputable source. Other common causes of exploding e-cigarettes are people using the incorrect charger, and people screwing in the connection to the rechargeable battery too tightly.

Usage tips

• Buy them from a reputable source • Only use the charger supplied • Do not mix components from different electronic cigarettes • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when charging and disposing of them • Do not leave your e-cigarette charging unattended • Never leave them charging overnight or when you go out • Never charge them for longer than the specified time • Keep them away from flammable items when charging • Keep them away from soft, flammable furnishings and clutter in general • When charging, place them on a non-flammable, stable, flat surface • Clean the battery centre pin and charger contact at least once a week

Make sure your smoke detectors work

If an incident does occur, you want your smoke detector to go off, especially if you’re asleep and need waking. Make sure that your smoke detector is working by pressing the test button each week and waiting for the beep. If your batteries need replacing, replace them. photo credit: chrisf608 via photopin cc

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