Dangers of e-cigarette chargers highlighted

Donegal Chief Fire Officer Joseph McTaggart is urging the public to be cautious following a recent nationwide fire safety alert in the UK on the risk of fires caused by exploding e-cigarette chargers.

This nationwide fire safety alert in the UK has been issued on foot of a spate of fires which were believed to be caused by exploding e-cigarette chargers.

It is believed that fires are taking place because some smokers are not using compatible chargers. his means too much current goes into the batteries and they overheat and eventually explode. Battery material shoots out – up to two to three metres in distance and can cause a fire if it lands on anything combustible.

Chief Fire Officer in Donegal Joseph McTaggart warns that the increase in the number of fires relating to e-cigarettes is worrying and it is likely that a similar trend is emerging in Ireland.

Latest reported figures from fire services in the UK show that since 2012 they have attended 113 calls to e-cigarette related incidences. In 2012 there were just 8 calls but this increased to 43 in 2013 and there were at least 62 in 2014.

He is urging members of the public to be extra vigilant and advises e-cigarette users 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 over heat protection; remove the battery from charge when complete – don’t overcharge; never leave a battery on charge unattended; don’t use if wet or exposed to water; do not over tighten the atomiser when connecting to charger and ensure that you dispose of batteries correctly.