Glasgow & West Scotland

Warning after OAP's e-cigarette explodes while charging

Damage caused by exploding e-cigarette Image copyright South Ayrshire Council

Trading standards officials have issued a warning after an e-cigarette exploded while charging at a pensioner's home.

The device broke apart and caused charring to a plug point, wall and carpet, in the pensioner's sheltered housing flat in Troon.

The e-cigarette was bought overseas on holiday and had only been charging for five minutes when it exploded.

Trading standards officials warned people to only buy from trusted sources and follow safety guidelines.

South Ayrshire council said the pensioner heard a loud bang and a whoosh, describing the explosion as being like a Roman candle firework going off in his living room.

Image copyright South Ayrshire Council

He found the device broken apart and heavy charring to his wall, plug point and carpet.

The council said that he had had "a lucky escape".

Mike Newall, head of neighbourhood services at South Ayrshire Council, said: "We charge so many gadgets these days that it's easy to take their safety for granted but as incidents like these show, there is a real and present danger.

"While in the majority of cases charging will be completely safe, it's worth remembering that batteries can and do overheat, and without taking proper care to ensure your device is safe you can run the risk of starting a fire.

"We would recommend buying from a trusted source, always use the charger that comes with your device, and above all use common sense."

The council issued these "top tips for safe charging"

  • don't overcharge and remove battery when complete;
  • never leave charging battery unattended;
  • always use charger provided and follow instructions;
  • don't over tighten the atomiser when connecting e-cigarette to charger;
  • check battery has built in protection from overcharging or overheating;
  • never charge a battery that has been damaged or dropped;
  • don't use if wet.

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