Firefighters Warn E-Cigarette Users Over Potential Fire Hazards
As e-cigs become more popular, firefighters say they're more worried about them being fire hazards. It follows a recent fire this weekend where investigators say an e-cig was a factor in a mobile home fire outside owensboro.
"We don't get into the health issues, we get into the fire safety issues," says Owensboro Fire Battalion Chief Steven Leonard. Leonard says the issue isn't the electronic cigarette, it's is source of power.
"The big problem we're seeing is people will plug them in at night, beside their bed, or on a counter, and leave them on overnight, and overcharge and cause the fire and explosion," says Leonard.
An e-cigarette possibly started a mobile home fire just off of Reid Road Saturday morning. Residents told fire investigators an e-cig was on a table next to a gallon of gas when it was discovered, but weren't sure if that was the cause. Leonard, who didn't investigate that fire, says the lithium ion battery in an e-cig can overheat if its overcharged.
"Once the lithium ion battery heats, the core heats to the point that it will actually explode, and can actually rocket across the room, and throw projectiles across the room," he says.
A U.S. Fire Administration report shows most of the 25 reported incidents involving e-cigs happen while its being charged. USB ports that don't come with e-cigs can also be a factor, since voltage can vary significantly. Leonard says simple ways to stop a fire is following charging instructions and don't overcharge it.
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