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Lucky escape for South Ayrshire pensioner after e-cigarette explodes

 04 April 2016  |  

The charred remains of the e-cigarette - smokers urged to make sure they have the correct equipment

The charred remains of the e-cigarette - smokers urged to make sure they have the correct equipment

A South Ayrshire pensioner has had a lucky escape after an e-cigarette exploded while charging at his home in Troon. Trading standards officers have issued a warning to people using the technology to stick to a few simple rules to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to them.

E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in Scotland in recent years. Ash Scotland estimates that in 2010 just 3% of smokers aged 18+ used e-cigarettes, with the number having soared to 17% by 2014. The technology is increasingly used by people trying to cut down on their tobacco consumption and by those looking to quit.

In a recent incident at a sheltered housing unit in Troon a cheap e-cigarette bought on an overseas holiday exploded after being plugged in for the first time and charged for just five minutes. 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.

Mike Newall, Head of Neighbourhood Services, South Ayrshire Council said it always pays to put safety first, "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."

Top tips for safe charging:

  • Don't overcharge. Remove the battery from charge when complete
  • Never leave a charging battery unattended
  • Always use the charger provided for your product and follow the manufacturer's instructions
  • In the case of e-cigarettes, don't over tighten the atomiser when connecting it to the charger
  • Check your battery has built in protection from overcharging or overheating
  • Never charge a battery that has been damaged or dropped
  • Never leave a charging battery unattended
  • Don't use if wet