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E-cigarette charger fire warning issued

Fire damaged e-cigarette charger Credit: Cumbria County Council

E-smokers are being urged to unplug chargers when their cigarettes are powered up following a fire at a flat in Kendal.

The fire, which started as a result of a charger being left in and switched on at the socket, caused significant burning to the charger, clothes and a chest of drawers.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said it was only due to the prompt actions of the occupier that the fire was quickly extinguished.

It is estimated that over 100 fires started in the UK last year due to e-cigarette chargers.

“Chargers such as these burn out very easily and people need to remember to switch them off once their device is fully charged. If the flat had been unoccupied at the time of ignition the incident would have been far more serious.”

– Jim Onions, Chief Fire Officer, Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging e-cigarette smokers to take the following precautions.

  • Ensure they are using the correct USB charger or adaptor for the battery
  • Check there are specific instructions with the product to give guidance on recharging and how long to charge for.
  • Don’t leave electronic cigarette battery cells unattended whilst they are charging
  • Remove batteries from the charger immediately when the light turns green
  • Turn off and unplug electronic cigarette battery cells that are charging before you go to bed.
  • Always charge the battery on a fire retardant surface
  • Discontinue using if the battery or cables become damaged, or if the battery becomes hot or changes shape or begins to smell.

Penrith man fined for feeding dead cattle to dogs

A man from the Penrith area has been fined nearly £3,000 for illegally feeding the carcasses of dead cattle to his pack of hounds.

Peter Richardson, 52, from Edenhall, near Penrith, pleaded guilty to breaking rules designed to prevent the spread of animal diseases at Carlisle Magistrates Court on Wednesday 11 March.

He was successfully prosecuted by Cumbria Trading Standards.

They found that on five occasions between 2 July 2013 and 25 March 2014 he had collected the carcasses of cattle aged over 48 months and fed them to his hounds.

But such cattle are supposed to be brain sampled and tested for the presence of BSE by an approved operator.

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Traders sign up to protect customers

The Trusted Trader scheme is proving popular. Credit: ITV Border

Ever been targeted by a rogue trader?

A new scheme in Dumfries and Galloway aims to protect customers, and more than 50 traders have already signed up.

The Trusted Trader scheme sees home improvement businesses get online feedback - you can see reviews of their work, and decide which tradesman to chose.

Traders can join the project for free, but they need to have been in business for six months.

Awareness initiative targets rogue trades

Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards has been taking action to target rogue traders.

Operation Rogue Trader is part of a week-long national enforcement and awareness initiative.

Operation Rogue Trader says:

  • Rogue traders most commonly offer building maintenance and repair work
  • Rogue traders target the vulnerable and elderly
  • They charge excessive fees for the work
  • Work that is carried out is either sub-standard or not carried out at all

"The simple message from trading standards is to always say 'no' to any traders offering to carry out work who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep."

– Steve Playle, Trading Standards Institute

“Offenders can be both plausible and intimidating in order to convince their victims to pay prices which are often well above what should normally be charged and certainly does not reflect the work that is carried out, if it is carried out at all."

– Peter Goodman, strategic director of Operation Liberal

If you have any suspicions at all about rogue traders call Cumbria Police on 101.

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