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E-cigarettes Powered by Potentially Dangerous Lithium-ion Batteries

Tuesday, 13th May, 2014

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service have issued a warning that there has been a increase in the number of dwelling fires throughout the UK, where the cause of ignition has been attributed to the charging of e-cigarettes.

Incidents involving these products have already resulted in fatal fires throughout Scotland.

The use of e-cigarettes has recently increased in popularity as a direct replacement for tobacco products. E-cigarettes are powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. The battery powers an optimiser that vaporises added oil. Lithium-ion batteries have been the cause of fires in the past, due to:

Thermal run away (overheating), caused by overcharging of batteries.
Physical damage, causing the battery to self heat.
Defects to the battery during the manufacturing process.

These products are usually charged by a USB adaptor inserted into a computer port or by using a USB adaptor plug.

Failure of the battery can lead to the decomposed components being projected with explosive force up to a distance of 2 metres, igniting a fire some distance from the charger.

In short, our advice is do not leave your charger on for long periods of time, overnight or when the property is vacant.


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