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Monday, 18 November 2013 (3045526)
Electronic shocker!
by Danielle Thompson

WHEN smoker Claire Connolly decided to switch from ‘regular' cigarettes to the electronic variety she thought it would be better for her health - until one blew up giving her a nasty burn and setting light to her carpet!

Claire, from Green Lane, Ormskirk, first started using electronic or e-cigarettes around 12 months ago.

Last week she decided to try a new type but when she put it on charge on Wednesday (November 13) she returned after two hours to find that it had exploded - and the carpet was on fire!

She managed to put out the fire herself but suffered burns to her thumb.

It is believed that she used a 5-volt charger, instead of an industry-standard 4.2 volt one.

She said: “If I hadn’t got home when I did it would have set the whole house on fire.”

John Jones, of JK’s E-cigs, based across the North West, said that using a higher voltage charger than needed with an electronic cigarette would cause fires and would be very dangerous.

He said: “Any battery charged with a charger that has a higher output than the battery can handle is a fire hazard.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Rechargeable lithium batteries power a wide range of electrical devices and have largely replaced early types of rechargeable batteries, such as nickel-cadmium, holding their charge longer between recharging.

”It's vital, however, that the charger the maker of the batteries specifies be used is used, since a variation in the output voltage specification of the charger can result in overheating of the battery and can potentially cause a fire.

“This is possible whatever the particular device, whether e-cigarette or a child's toy car. It's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions.”


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