Fire chiefs ask for E-cigarette safety warning


Fire authorities have asked that safety messages be displayed on e-cigarette kits after an increase in the number of incidents linked to these devices.

Figures obtained after a freedom of information request indicated that electronic cigarettes and the equipment related to it, including chargers, were responsible for more than 100 fires in a period of less than two years.

The Local Government Association (LGA, the representative of all 46 fire authorities based in England and Wales, said this figure may be the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as many instances are not being reported.

Many of the fire incidents are caused by the connection of e-cigarettes to incompatible chargers. The LGA has asked for manufacturers to display clear warnings of the dangers involved and to stipulate the dangers of using chargers which are incompatible with the batteries in e-cigarettes.

The chairman of the LGA’s fire services management committee, Jeremy Hilton, said the increased rate of fires linked to e-cigarettes is of huge concern and more needs to be done to fight it. He said they expect an increase in incidences as more smokers are switching to electronic cigarettes.

During August, 62-year old David Thomson, died after an e-cigarette which was charging exploded and lit up oxygen equipment he was said to be using.

Other incidents which have been reported resulted in people being hurt and there have been reports of homes being damaged. Mr Hilton issued warnings that unless action is taken, there could be more deaths.

He added that users should not risk their lives in order to save a few pounds by buying incompatible chargers.

According to data from 43 fire services, 113 fire calls related to electronic cigarette equipment have been responded to since 2012.

Image Credit: Lauri Rantala


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