Car Fire in Ipswich caused by E-Cigarette Charger

???????????????????????????????Suffolk Fire and Rescue were called to an incident on Monday 12th January to attend a fire involving a car in Ipswich.

On arrival they found that the fire had burnt itself out due to lack of oxygen in the car.

The drivers seat had suffered significant fire damage.

Upon investigation the officers were able to establish that the owner of the vehicle had unwittingly left an e-cigarette plugged into the cigarette lighter, unaware that when the engine was turn off it would continue charging.

The owner was able to confirm that the USB charger used to charge the e-cigarette was not one that was provided with the product.

The e-cigarette continued to charge, overheated and then exploded within the car.  The contents of the e-cigarette hit the drivers seat and caused it to set fire.

Car fire 2

The number of people using electronic cigarettes has increased dramatically in recent years – but this rise in use has also seen a rise in safety concerns. Across the country more than 100 fires have been caused by them including three in Suffolk that have been attended by the fire service.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue and Trading Standards want to increase awareness about the dangers of the misuse of e-cigarette chargers.

Top tips top to avoid the dangers of e-cigarette chargers:

  • Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully – battery capacities and charging voltages vary according to manufacturer so it’s important to check you are using the correct charger.
  • Pay close attention to any warnings supplied with the product. Over-tightening of the screwed connection to the rechargeable battery, for example, can cause mechanical damage which can in turn create heat problems, product failure or even injury.
  • Ensure that e-cigarettes are not left charging for long periods of time.
  • Never leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or whilst you are out of the house.
  • Look out for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European Safety standards.

Councillor Colin Spence, cabinet member for  public protection said:

“I would urge anyone using any charging device to take notice of this latest case and  read the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any unfortunate incidents.  Where there is a fire, more often than not, it is not the e cigarette or the charger that is at fault, but it is actually the user not using the compatible charges sold with their devices. If you don’t use the right chargers it can mean that too much electrical current passes through batteries, which could make them overheat and explode.

“In this recent incident in Suffolk, it is because the charger may have been left on charge for too long and it was fortunate that there was no loss of life as the fire burned itself out.”

Suffolk Trading Standards are aware of three e-cigarette kits that have been recalled in recent years:

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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