A woman was fortunate to suffer only minor injuries after an e-cigarette battery caught fire in her coat pocket on 30 March.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to a pub in Swanage at 7.39pm after the fire alarm was activated by the battery exploding. One crew from Swanage attended and provided first aid until paramedics arrived – the casualty suffered burns to her leg and stomach but was treated at the scene.
Station Manager Graham Kewley said: “We believe that a spare lithium battery in a coat pocket was short-circuited by loose change. The lady affected was lucky not to suffer more serious injuries, as the explosion could have easily resulted in shrapnel-type wounds to the leg.
There have been similar incidents elsewhere that have resulted in fatalities, so it is vital that vape users take real care with how they carry and store batteries.”
The following advice should always be followed by e-cigarette users:
- Never carry batteries loose or with other items, which could cause short-circuiting.
- Never leave e-cigarettes on charge and unattended for long periods, and never leave a device on charge overnight.
- Don’t mix components of different e-cigarettes.
- Only use the charger supplied.
- Ensure that you purchase your e-cigarette from a reputable source.
- Check the e-cigarette carries CE certification.
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidance.
- Never charge e-cigarettes near or on combustible or flammable materials.
- Contact Trading Standards over any e-cigarette safety concerns.
For more advice on the safe use of e-cigarettes, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/smoking-and-e-cigarettes
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