Fire service urges caution amid increase in vape fires

By Nub News Reporter

14th Apr 2024 | Local News

A home gutted by a vape charge started fire.
A home gutted by a vape charge started fire.

ESSEX County Fire and Rescue Service has issued a serious warning to all vape and e-cigarette users after a rise in fires throughout Essex last year.

Latest statistics show that the number of incidents caused by vapes and e-cigarettes have increased, from only two incidents in 2021 and 2022, to seven in 2023.

According to Andrea MacAlister, Temporary Head of Prevention, many of these incidents stem from preventable mistakes while charging the devices.

The most common factors contributing to these fires are poor charging practices, including overnight charging, using fake chargers and incorrect disposal.

Ms MacAlister said: "Along with the health concerns regarding the levels of knowledge and awareness around vaping, we're concerned about the rise in vape and e-cigarette related fire incidents in Essex. Many of these incidents are entirely preventable and stem from avoidable mistakes in charging practices.

"Charging devices overnight or using fake chargers poses a severe risk not only to property but also to lives."

The service is urging the public to be extra cautious when charging their vapes and e-cigarettes and has issued the following safety advice:

Stay alert and stay at home: Never leave vaping devices or e-cigarettes charging unattended, especially overnight or for extended periods. Be vigilant and remain present while charging.

Use legitimate chargers: Always use the charger provided by the manufacturer with the device. Using fake chargers can lead to overheating and potentially cause fires.

Dispose properly: When disposing of vaping devices or e-cigarettes, make sure they are taken to a recycling centre. Never dispose of them at home.

Ms MacAlister emphasises the importance of being cautious with vapes, saying: "It's crucial for people to prioritise their own health and the safety of everyone when it comes to vapes. 

"For more information or advice on the health aspects of vaping, including how to stop, people can contact the Essex Wellbeing Service, who have a range of resources available for adults and young people.  

"As well as the health aspects, following simple guidelines around charging vaping or e-cigarette devices, we can significantly reduce the risk of fires and protect our communities."

For more health advice visit: https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/news/vaping-young-people-information-and-advice

     

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