Fire service warning after e-cigarette explodes in a house

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have issued advice for when using e-cigarettes, Lithium-ion batteries and electrical devices. Credit: PA

Firefighters assisted a man suffering burns to his legs, hands and right forearm after an e-cigarette battery exploded in a house in Shevington near Wigan.

Three crews, two from Wigan and one from Hindley, responded to a call from a property on Dixon Drive in Shevington at 6.45pm on Wednesday 22 August.

On arrival firefighters established that although no fire was under way the homeowner was in some pain and distress after the battery, which had been in his trouser pocket, exploded while he was in his living room.

Firefighters also comforted distressed family members, including a young girl of around five years of age who had witnessed the incident.

The e-cigarette battery itself had been thrown out the rear of the property into the back garden – crews retrieved what remained of the battery for fire investigation purposes.

Inside, a large burn mark roughly the size of a beermat was identified on a carpet while the injured man, who was conscious and breathing, was treated by emergency services colleagues from North West Ambulance Service and taken to nearby Whiston Hospital.

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service Watch Manager, Glyn McGann from Wigan, who was at the scene, said:

The GMFRS said when using e-cigarettes and Lithium-ion batteries and electrical devices ensure you:

  • Always use the charger that came with your device

  • If you need to buy a replacement battery always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are lots of fakes out there, and it can be difficult to spot the difference

  • Avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures

  • Make sure your batteries are stored safely and away from other metal items such as keysProtect batteries against being damaged – that's crushed, punctured or immersed in water

  • Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete – it's best not to leave your phone plugged in overnight, for example

  • Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed