E-cigarette fire warning

South Wales Guardian: ALERT: Smokers have been warned about the dangers associated with e-cigarettes ALERT: Smokers have been warned about the dangers associated with e-cigarettes

County residents are being urged to take care following several incidents involving e-cigarettes, their batteries and chargers.

There are growing reports across the UK of e-cigarettes igniting while in use or being charged.

At least one house fire in Carmarthenshire has already been attributed to a faulty charger.

Incidents have also been reported of e-cigarettes exploding, especially when being used in an oxygen-rich environment.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s trading standards team is currently looking in to the issue, and in the meantime are urging people to be more aware of the hazards.

Councillor Jim Jones, executive board member for public protection, said: “These reports are worrying, particularly since our colleagues in the fire service believe that a house fire in Llanelli, in which a woman sustained a significant injury, was started because of a faulty charger.

“Our trading standards team is looking in to the issue locally, and whilst we’re aware that some devices and chargers have adequate safety features built-in, it’s hard to distinguish them from those that are more cheaply made and may not have the necessary safeguards.”

Fire hazards are associated with both reusable and disposable e-cigarettes and other battery-powered tobacco replacement products that use a heating element to produce a vapour which resembles smoke.

There is potential for fire or explosion during recharging of the battery particularly if used in oxygen rich environments– an issue which does not affect disposable e-cigarettes - Rechargers could include a connection via a USB port, a car cigarette lighter or accessory socket, or direct to the mains via a three-pin plug.

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