Following increasing concerns over ecigarette fire safety the Government has announced a series of measures warn users of the dangers and educate them on safety precautions. This response is aimed at combatting the ever growing number fire incidents directly from or thought to be attributed to faulty or incompatible e cigarette battery chargers.
Latest E Cigarette Safety Tips
Local Government has joined forces with the Department for Safer Communities in a consumer safety initiative with a number of tips to help ecigarette users charge their equipment safely.
MP and Minister for Fire Safety, Penny Mordaunt explained:
This being Electronic Fire Safety Week our main priority is fire safety and the importance of making sure consumers are not only aware of the danger of accidents and risk associated with electronic cigarette charger faults and over-charging, but also that good information based advice is available and understood by e cig users. This information must include tips and advice on using the correct chargers and how to check compatibility.
To assist users to use e-cigarettes in safety, the campaign, Fire Kills offers consumers the following general and product advice:
- 1. Read carefully and follow the specific manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions 2. provided
- 3. Check for and read any warning displayed on the e cigarette product
- 4. E-cigarettes should never be allowed to charge for over extended periods of time
- 5. Ensure that before you leave home e-cigarette chargers are switched off and unplugged
- 6. Ensure that you unplug and switch of e cigarette chargers before you go to bed
- 7. Make sure your e cig charger complies with European Safety standards and carries the CE mark
- 8. Only use an e cigarette charger in a dedicated plug socket
- 9. Before using an e cig charger, check the manufacturers website for product recall information
- 10. Do not purchase e cig chargers that you suspect maybe substandard or counterfeit
Are Current E-Cigarette Fire Safety Guideline Sufficient
In addition to this general safety advice several departments of Trading Standards have been commissioned by the Innovation, Skills and Business Department to investigate if existing electronic cigarette fire safety guidelines are sufficient and available to e cig users widely enough.
This is just one of the many measures that the Government is taking an active role in during Electronic Fire Safety week, the campaign has been designed to improve the general public’s awareness of potential fire risks caused by electronic equipment and take steps to reduce or avoid their exposure.
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Jo Swinson says:
It’s clear from all of the recent media and press coverage on ecigarette charger fires that consumers have to be aware of both the dangers and the steps they can take to reduce fire risks. When used with the correct chargers and to the correct guidelines, electronic cigarettes pose very little fire risk, equivalent maybe to a mobile phone.
That is the reason that I have instructed Trading Standards to look further in to the e cigarette fire risk safety information that exists and is available currently to e cig users. We need to find out if this information is adequate to keep e cigarette users safe or if further guidance would help to reduce incidents of fire caused by ecigarettes being charged incorrectly.
The Most Important E-Cig Charging Rule has been Missed!
While we welcome the increased awareness that this campaign will bring, the new safety guidelines do not really offer any new advice. All of the guidelines mirror the advice that electronic cigarette manufacturers already supply with starter kits and on their websites.
We suggest that the single most important piece of e cig battery charging advice has been over looked!
USE ONLY THE MANUFACTURERS CHARGING EQUIPMENT THAT WAS SUPPLIED WITH YOUR ECIGARETTE STARTER KIT
If you look closer in to the detail of many of the recent stories about fires started by exploding e cigarette batteries you will find that the ecigarette user was using a non-compatible charger, one not supplied with the electronic cigarette itself, and in most cases a charger intended for use with a different device altogether. E cigarette battery USB cables can be easily connected to smart phone chargers for instance and this particular type of charger can supply up to 10 times the power that an e-cigarette battery requires.
Electronic Cigarettes Reducing the Number of Home Fires
While any incident of a fire caused by incorrect e cigarette charging is a fire too many and the fear and distress caused by a home fire should not be trivialised in any way, it worth considering that traditional cigarette smoking still accounts for the highest percentage of fires in the home and deaths from fires in the home. This figure is falling as more and more people switch to ecigarettes.