Another Explosion Linked to Improper E-Cig Charging
A growing number of explosions linked to electronic cigarettes have vapers feeling uneasy. This week, 48-year-old Garry Brookes watched in horror has his van caught fire after he left his e-cigarette charging on the seat. The blaze was so massive that it even melted the front door of the nearby home. Brookes said he had recently switched to ecigs to stop smoking tobacco and he routinely charged up his ecig in the car or inside his home. His ecig had been charging for around an hour when the fire started.
Brookes was doing a repair job inside a customer’s house while his ecig charged in the van. He had just finished up his work and was packing things up when he noticed smoke coming from the van. “I just looked and my charger was plugged in and I saw the back end had blown out,” he said. “I tried to put the fire out and the customer was bringing buckets of water and a hose pipe.”
But it was already too late to control the blaze and within just ten minutes, the van was left with only a metal shell on four wheels. “It melted my customer’s front door which was about six feet away from the van. I was amazed how quick it went,” Brookes said. He did manage to salvage a few of his tools out of the back of the van before the blaze reached its peak. “I was dragging things out of the back while it was still on fire. It was stupid getting in the back of the van when it was on fire but it was my livelihood,” he explained.
Brookes said he now wishes he had never started vaping. But local fire chiefs in South Yorkshire said the same thing could happen with a variety of routine electronic devices left charging in vehicles. Fire safety official Kevin Ronan said vapers need to be educated on the proper charging techniques to avoid these devastating fires. “Fires caused by e-cigarettes are an emerging trend, which two years ago simply did not exist. Whilst e-cigs may offer a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, they are so popular now we do need to make sure people know how to charge them safely,” Ronan told reporters.
“The advice for e-cigs is really the same as for many smaller electronic appliances like mobile phones and laptops – don’t be tempted to buy cheap unbranded chargers, don’t leave them to charge whilst you are out of the house or asleep and keep them well away from flammable materials,” Ronan advised.
If you are worried about e-cigs posing a fire hazard, officials say there are several preventative tips you can take. First, always charge your ecig on a flat, solid surface and keep the device away from any flammable or combustible objects while it is charging. You should never leave a charging ecig on a bed or next to soft furniture or fabric. Avoid charging your batteries in a crowded space. Most importantly, don’t keep the battery on the charger longer than recommended. That means it probably isn’t a good idea to charge overnight while you asleep or while you are away from home.
Do you worry about your e-cig catching on fire while it charges? What safety precautions are you taking?