A COUPLE had a lucky escape when the charger they were using for their e-cigarette exploded, sparking two fires at their home.

The pair had plugged the e-cigarette into a wall socket in their living room to charge when it exploded into flames, that spread across their lounge.

Fortunately the couple were able to extinguish the two fire but had they been asleep or had gone out, safety experts are this morning warning that the consequences could have been much more severe.

It is believed the explosion was caused by the couple, who live on the Isle of Wight, using a charger which was not designed for the device.

Julian Fountaine, Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service community prevention manager, said: “Using a charger on any electrical device it is not designed for is very dangerous and we have seen cases across the country of e-cigarettes exploding and causing harm or damage.“Fortunately the couple whose e-cigarette exploded were lucky and were not hurt, but it could have been a lot more serious.

“Had they not been there to put out the fires that were caused, such as if it happened in the middle of the night or when they were out, we could have been looking at a major house fire.”

Amanda Gregory, Isle of Wight Council regulatory services manager, added: “Anyone who uses an e-cigarette should always use the charger that comes with it and never use other equipment.

“We are seeing people plug e-cigarettes in wall chargers that are designed for equipment such as mobile phones or tablets. These are much more powerful which can overload them. It is this which can cause overheating and the potential for more serious incidents.”

There are safety tips you can follow when charging an electronic cigarette.

These are:

  • Never leave your e-cigarette unattended whilst charging, especially not overnight.
  • Consider a fireproof bag for charging.
  • When screwing in the charger, do not over tighten it as this can cause damage.
  • If your product doesn't come with instructions, ask for a refund and inform trading standards.
  • Do not charge your e-cigarette on a flammable surface such as a bed or sofa.
  • Only buy your e-cigarette, accessories and liquid from a reputable source.