Safety messages should be displayed on electronic cigarette kits, fire service people have said following a rise in incidents linked to the devices.
Fire services are warning people of the fire hazards that come with using electronic cigarettes, after investigators found the devices were linked to 100 fires in less than two years.
Electronic cigarettes are alternative smoking devices that simulate the sensation of smoking. They contain a heating element that vaporises liquid nicotine in a small cartridge, and propylene glycol in the cartridge that simulates the production of smoke.
Figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests show e-cigarettes or related equipment, including chargers, were involved in more than 100 fires in less than two years.
Data from 43 fire services across the UK shows they were called out to just eight incidents involving e-cigarettes in 2012.
In 2013, that number increased to 43.So far this year, fire services have been called to 62 incidents and the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents all 46 fire authorities in England and Wales.
A number of incidents have been attributed to the use of incompatible chargers for the devices.
In August, David Thomson, 62, was killed when an e-cigarette on charge exploded and ignited oxygen equipment he was believed to have been using.
Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said, “The spiraling upward trend of fires connected with e-cigarettes is a major cause for concern and much more needs to be done to combat it.
We expect this to continue to rise as more smokers switch to e-cigarettes. Alarmingly, there is no way of knowing the true figure as we understand many cases are going unreported. We are urging e-cigarette manufacturers to introduce clear, prominent and graphic new warnings spelling out to users the dangers of using incompatible chargers with e-cigarette batteries.”
Hilton warned more deaths could follow unless action is taken.