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Smokers warned of fire risks from e-cigarettes

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has issued a warning to smokers about the fire risk from using and charging e-cigarettes.

This follows a sharp increase in the number of fire incidents in the region attended by crews involving e-cigarettes and chargers. This includes 18 incidents in Merseyside since 2016, many involving e-cigarette batteries catching fire while on charge.

Often this has been caused by e-cigarettes being overcharged, physical damage to the charger or battery, the use of cheap or poor quality chargers or cigarette batteries, plus the use of incompatible devices.

Tony Harland, Incident Investigator for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “People who use e-cigarette chargers may not realise just how dangerous they can be if they are not used properly or are cheaply made.

“Several incidents we have attended have significant fires breaking out because either the battery itself is faulty or the battery charger is poorly made or incompatible. The risks are considerable and could present a serious threat to life.

In addition to making sure both the cigarette battery and charger are safe, smokers should take further precautions when using them.

Tony Harland adds: “People should be particularly careful that chargers are not left on too long.

“We would also encourage people to use fire retardant charging bags for e-cigarettes which can be bought cheaply from local retailers.”

E-Cigarette users are also advised to follow these tips:

  • 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

  • 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

  • Ensure that you dispose of batteries correctly

Example of the damage that can result from e-cigarette batteries and chargers catching fire.

For fire safety advice call Merseyside and Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958.

Also seek out the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service pages on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

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