E-cigarette explodes at family home in Ringwood

The aftermath of the incident

The aftermath of the incident

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A mother is lucky to be alive after a faulty charger caused an explosion at her Ringwood home.

The charger, connected to an e-cigarette, caught fire and overheated the pressurised canister of an air horn, which then blew up.

Now trading standards officers have warned the public that only chargers supplied with electrical items should be used.

The incident is the latest in a string of incidents in the UK involving the use of cheap or inappropriate chargers and firefighters said the woman is lucky to have received no injuries.

The woman was alerted to the fire in an upstairs bedroom of the house on Southampton Road by her smoke alarm, which had only had its battery changed the previous week.

After discovering the fire, she managed to escape downstairs before the explosion, caused by the heating of the pressurised canister of an air horn that was in the room.

Daily Echo:

"This then overheated and caught light to the bedding, and the fire then caused the canister to expand and explode.

"Plugs need to be appropriate for the device they are charging and not all can be transferred between devices. The consequences of using the wrong charger with the wrong device can be devastating and we are extremely relieved that on this occasion no-one was harmed."

In May, a Welsh woman was burned after her e-cigarette exploded when it was plugged into her phone charger and a barmaid in North Yorkshire was also injured earlier this year when a charging e-cigarette overheated.

While e-cigarettes can be susceptible to overheating due to the type of battery they contain, Hampshire's Trading Standards are keen to stress the importance of using the right charger for all devices and raise awareness of the dangers of cheap alternatives.

A spokesman from Hampshire County Council Trading Standards said: "The message is do not buy cheap or unbranded chargers for use with e-cigarettes, mobile phones or any other devices. They are invariably dangerous and illegal.

"At the least, they are capable of destroying your device. At worst, they have the potential to give a fatal electric shock or cause a very serious house fire.

"Our officers regularly stop and destroy large quantities of unsafe chargers as part of their work at ports. This is a widespread problem, with many being sold through internet sellers.

"Always make sure that the rated output of your charger is matched to the product you are charging."

Fire crews from Ringwood were quickly on the scene and entered the house using breathing apparatus and extinguished the flames. Fire investigators then traced the cause back to a USB plug that had an e-cigarette charging in it.

Group Manager Dan Tasker said: "We discovered that the woman's son had lost the charger that came with the e-cigarette kit he had bought, so he had plugged it into a different USB charger and then gone out.

Comments (23)

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10:48am Tue 22 Jul 14

SNUGGLES 78 says...

how many fires are caused by cigarettes ?
how many fires are caused by cigarettes ? SNUGGLES 78
  • Score: 9

10:58am Tue 22 Jul 14

Mr E says...

The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.
The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard. Mr E
  • Score: 16

11:22am Tue 22 Jul 14

Big Mac says...

Is it part of the government's new health warning against smoking campaign?
If so, might need a rethink.
Is it part of the government's new health warning against smoking campaign? If so, might need a rethink. Big Mac
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Tue 22 Jul 14

jimmy.little says...

just people being silly with how they charge things. it could have been anything just happened to be a ecig....
just people being silly with how they charge things. it could have been anything just happened to be a ecig.... jimmy.little
  • Score: 11

12:59pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Quentin Heslop says...

So not an e cig exploding at all.
So not an e cig exploding at all. Quentin Heslop
  • Score: 18

1:55pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Hastagger says...

DE, the headline is very misleading, it should say:

Charger causes air horn canister to explode at family home in Ringwood

It is very misleading, please do change it and issue an apology.

#lazy
#tablid
DE, the headline is very misleading, it should say: Charger causes air horn canister to explode at family home in Ringwood It is very misleading, please do change it and issue an apology. #lazy #tablid Hastagger
  • Score: 21

2:26pm Tue 22 Jul 14

IronLady2010 says...

Sounds like she had a lucky escape, if she had tried tackling the fire and that thing exploded, this could be a different headline.
Sounds like she had a lucky escape, if she had tried tackling the fire and that thing exploded, this could be a different headline. IronLady2010
  • Score: -6

3:33pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Linesman says...

Holy smoke!
Holy smoke! Linesman
  • Score: -5

3:38pm Tue 22 Jul 14

City Saint says...

Not loving e-cigs. It's all good when people use them outside, but when they use them in public areas like restaurants and cafés it is both antisocial and misleading for kids.

There is a guy who puffs away at Pret a Manger in West Quay every weekend for hours in end, a monumental pest.

Having said all of that, the headline seems to be deliberately misleading to tap into the social debate about e-cigs. It appears they don't explode after all.

Shame, coz I was thinking I had something to look forward to with Pret's "Smoking Man"...
Not loving e-cigs. It's all good when people use them outside, but when they use them in public areas like restaurants and cafés it is both antisocial and misleading for kids. There is a guy who puffs away at Pret a Manger in West Quay every weekend for hours in end, a monumental pest. Having said all of that, the headline seems to be deliberately misleading to tap into the social debate about e-cigs. It appears they don't explode after all. Shame, coz I was thinking I had something to look forward to with Pret's "Smoking Man"... City Saint
  • Score: -4

4:22pm Tue 22 Jul 14

bolicks says...

I'm a reformed smoker and I wish the government would ban smoking altogether in public place,s as there is nothing worse than following someone in the precinct chugging on a cigarette and the smoke blowing in your face sometimes its not easy to get out of there way. The government won't ban smoking as they would lose to much revenue (tax).
I'm a reformed smoker and I wish the government would ban smoking altogether in public place,s as there is nothing worse than following someone in the precinct chugging on a cigarette and the smoke blowing in your face sometimes its not easy to get out of there way. The government won't ban smoking as they would lose to much revenue (tax). bolicks
  • Score: 1

4:25pm Tue 22 Jul 14

peasbewithu says...

Usual inaccurate and sensationalist reporting by DE. Headline says that an e-cigarette exploded - it didn't. There is a whole new batch of youngsters leaving school now - take one of them on - they'll do a better job!!
Usual inaccurate and sensationalist reporting by DE. Headline says that an e-cigarette exploded - it didn't. There is a whole new batch of youngsters leaving school now - take one of them on - they'll do a better job!! peasbewithu
  • Score: 8

4:35pm Tue 22 Jul 14

ulrichvangobbel says...

Mr E wrote:
The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.
And the b stands for bus. That doesn't make it a bus.
[quote][p][bold]Mr E[/bold] wrote: The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.[/p][/quote]And the b stands for bus. That doesn't make it a bus. ulrichvangobbel
  • Score: 1

6:03pm Tue 22 Jul 14

solomum says...

Ban all forms of smoking. Disgusting antisocial activity that non smokers have no option but to participate in just by walking along any street. Southampton City Centre is just a big smoke filled area.
Ban all forms of smoking. Disgusting antisocial activity that non smokers have no option but to participate in just by walking along any street. Southampton City Centre is just a big smoke filled area. solomum
  • Score: -6

6:53pm Tue 22 Jul 14

mike coll says...

So its a "family" therefore one assumes the woman is happy as larry to smoke in front of her children,
What a fine upstanding woman she is.
So its a "family" therefore one assumes the woman is happy as larry to smoke in front of her children, What a fine upstanding woman she is. mike coll
  • Score: -7

8:19pm Tue 22 Jul 14

elvisimo says...

solomum wrote:
Ban all forms of smoking. Disgusting antisocial activity that non smokers have no option but to participate in just by walking along any street. Southampton City Centre is just a big smoke filled area.
Yep but this is not smoking? Water vapour - not too offensive
[quote][p][bold]solomum[/bold] wrote: Ban all forms of smoking. Disgusting antisocial activity that non smokers have no option but to participate in just by walking along any street. Southampton City Centre is just a big smoke filled area.[/p][/quote]Yep but this is not smoking? Water vapour - not too offensive elvisimo
  • Score: 6

8:38pm Tue 22 Jul 14

X Old Bill says...

So, if one sorts out the hype what we have is:

Someone used a charger for an e-cigarette which was not the one supplied with it.
The charger may or may not have been faulty; Or, it may have delivered too high a current for too long to suit the e-cigarette, because it was the wrong one for the job and did not cut out when the battery was charged.
The battery in the e-cigarette overheated.
The e-cigarette was next to combustible material which caught fire.
The subsequent fire overheated an aerosol canister which exploded.
So, if one sorts out the hype what we have is: Someone used a charger for an e-cigarette which was not the one supplied with it. The charger may or may not have been faulty; Or, it may have delivered too high a current for too long to suit the e-cigarette, because it was the wrong one for the job and did not cut out when the battery was charged. The battery in the e-cigarette overheated. The e-cigarette was next to combustible material which caught fire. The subsequent fire overheated an aerosol canister which exploded. X Old Bill
  • Score: 4

8:42pm Tue 22 Jul 14

vaperfan says...

Regarding e-liquid the ingredients are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin and de-ionised water concentrated food flavourings and of course nicotine all available from chemists and bakery suppliers. The nicotine is absorbed straight away and the resulting vapour is is a form of steam held in suspension to create the illusion of smoke by the PG and VG (PG is used in air con units as a sanitiser and asthmatic inhalers as the medicinal carrier)

as for the battery they can and will vent if used with the wrong charger i.e standard 450ma charger charging a 180mah battery is asking for trouble
usb generally outputs 5.v where as these batteries require 4.2v
as with most lipo and lithium batteries should never be left unattended and certainly not over night. My local E-cig shop will explain this in detail and issue leaflets warning of the dangers of using the wrong charger

The same batteries are used in many tools and appliances (mobile phones, laptops, power tools remote controlled planes and cars etc) these all have had the rare battery gone wrong but it seems the media have a thing about slating something that is actually doing something good like the "harm reduction" from users changing from smoking to vaping.

My experience is 3 years tobacco free, an abudance of information via the likes of "ECITA" and "ECCA" websites which include results from toxicity experts from the effect of nicotine and even a recent analasys done in britain of which the mhra wish to ignore.
Its all about the losing of revenue so scaremonger away keep people smoking and keep paying the tax or vape away feel like you are smoking feel healthier pay less tax and enjoy the hundreds of different flavours available
Regarding e-liquid the ingredients are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin and de-ionised water concentrated food flavourings and of course nicotine all available from chemists and bakery suppliers. The nicotine is absorbed straight away and the resulting vapour is is a form of steam held in suspension to create the illusion of smoke by the PG and VG (PG is used in air con units as a sanitiser and asthmatic inhalers as the medicinal carrier) as for the battery they can and will vent if used with the wrong charger i.e standard 450ma charger charging a 180mah battery is asking for trouble usb generally outputs 5.v where as these batteries require 4.2v as with most lipo and lithium batteries should never be left unattended and certainly not over night. My local E-cig shop will explain this in detail and issue leaflets warning of the dangers of using the wrong charger The same batteries are used in many tools and appliances (mobile phones, laptops, power tools remote controlled planes and cars etc) these all have had the rare battery gone wrong but it seems the media have a thing about slating something that is actually doing something good like the "harm reduction" from users changing from smoking to vaping. My experience is 3 years tobacco free, an abudance of information via the likes of "ECITA" and "ECCA" websites which include results from toxicity experts from the effect of nicotine and even a recent analasys done in britain of which the mhra wish to ignore. Its all about the losing of revenue so scaremonger away keep people smoking and keep paying the tax or vape away feel like you are smoking feel healthier pay less tax and enjoy the hundreds of different flavours available vaperfan
  • Score: 5

1:04am Wed 23 Jul 14

yellowcard says...

mike coll wrote:
So its a "family" therefore one assumes the woman is happy as larry to smoke in front of her children,
What a fine upstanding woman she is.
Get a life. What evidence do you have that she smokes if front of her children.
[quote][p][bold]mike coll[/bold] wrote: So its a "family" therefore one assumes the woman is happy as larry to smoke in front of her children, What a fine upstanding woman she is.[/p][/quote]Get a life. What evidence do you have that she smokes if front of her children. yellowcard
  • Score: 2

9:19am Wed 23 Jul 14

The_Fuzz22 says...

Mr E wrote:
The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.
USB is just the plug, not the entire charging unit, as evidenced by the fact that not all USB devices are chargers.
Universal means the plug will fit into any USB port, it doesn't make any guarantees that the thing you plug it into will be compatible.
[quote][p][bold]Mr E[/bold] wrote: The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.[/p][/quote]USB is just the plug, not the entire charging unit, as evidenced by the fact that not all USB devices are chargers. Universal means the plug will fit into any USB port, it doesn't make any guarantees that the thing you plug it into will be compatible. The_Fuzz22
  • Score: 0

11:42am Wed 23 Jul 14

Mr E says...

The_Fuzz22 wrote:
Mr E wrote:
The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.
USB is just the plug, not the entire charging unit, as evidenced by the fact that not all USB devices are chargers.
Universal means the plug will fit into any USB port, it doesn't make any guarantees that the thing you plug it into will be compatible.
There is a comprehensive list of standards for charging devices over USB available on the web at http://www.usb.org/
[quote][p][bold]The_Fuzz22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr E[/bold] wrote: The U in USB means Universal. Unfortunately it looks like unscrupulous manufacturers are not following the standard.[/p][/quote]USB is just the plug, not the entire charging unit, as evidenced by the fact that not all USB devices are chargers. Universal means the plug will fit into any USB port, it doesn't make any guarantees that the thing you plug it into will be compatible.[/p][/quote]There is a comprehensive list of standards for charging devices over USB available on the web at http://www.usb.org/ Mr E
  • Score: 2

8:27am Thu 24 Jul 14

miltonnroad76 says...

Wasnt the ecig that blew up it was using the wrong charger stupid uniformed writing
Wasnt the ecig that blew up it was using the wrong charger stupid uniformed writing miltonnroad76
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Fri 25 Jul 14

bartonalan says...

More inaccurate reporting - it was an air horn canister which exploded from the heat given off from a charger which was not designed for use with the e-cigarette. The e-cigarette did not explode. Read your own reports!
It is very irresponsible to mis-represent e-cigarettes, which could be a much safer alternative to conventional cigarette use, in this way which could put people off them.
More inaccurate reporting - it was an air horn canister which exploded from the heat given off from a charger which was not designed for use with the e-cigarette. The e-cigarette did not explode. Read your own reports! It is very irresponsible to mis-represent e-cigarettes, which could be a much safer alternative to conventional cigarette use, in this way which could put people off them. bartonalan
  • Score: 1

4:25pm Sun 27 Jul 14

The_Fuzz22 says...

bartonalan wrote:
More inaccurate reporting - it was an air horn canister which exploded from the heat given off from a charger which was not designed for use with the e-cigarette. The e-cigarette did not explode. Read your own reports!
It is very irresponsible to mis-represent e-cigarettes, which could be a much safer alternative to conventional cigarette use, in this way which could put people off them.
Lies attract more clicks, and more ad revenue, than the truth.
[quote][p][bold]bartonalan[/bold] wrote: More inaccurate reporting - it was an air horn canister which exploded from the heat given off from a charger which was not designed for use with the e-cigarette. The e-cigarette did not explode. Read your own reports! It is very irresponsible to mis-represent e-cigarettes, which could be a much safer alternative to conventional cigarette use, in this way which could put people off them.[/p][/quote]Lies attract more clicks, and more ad revenue, than the truth. The_Fuzz22
  • Score: 0

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