Posted by Tessa Coates at 09/04/2014 19:45:50
Nottinghamshire residents using electronic cigarettes are being warned about the potential dangers while charging e-cigarettes.
The warning follows an increase in complaints to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team about fires caused by batteries and chargers for electronic cigarettes. Complaints have been received where consumers have used different chargers and batteries to those supplied with the original product. However, cheap batteries will often not have the safety cut offs required for when a battery over heats when charging.
The most common causes of battery failure are:
1. Excessive discharge of current, including short circuits.
2. Overcharging by the charger
3. Physical damage to the battery
Any of the above common causes of battery failure could conceivably result in a fire or explosion.
Batteries that are poorly constructed, or are manufactured using substandard materials, and therefore do not have a low voltage cut off are most likely to overheat while charging, resulting in fire or explosion.
When buying e-cigarettes:
• check that the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and the electrical device (battery) are the same
• look for a manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and batch number
• the name and address of the producer must also be included with the product which must be an address in the European Union
• check for a CE mark, but do not rely on this alone to guarantee a product’s safety. A CE mark is a declaration from the manufacturer that the product is safe, but like all markings it can be forged
• check that instructions on how to use the product safely, conditions and limitations of use and how to safely dispose of the product are included.
When charging your e-cigarette battery:
• Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully
• Heed any warnings supplied with the product
• Ensure that e-cigarettes are not left charging for long periods of time
• Do not leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or whilst you are out of the house
Officers are visiting and advising sellers of electronic cigarettes in the county on product safety and labelling of products.
Any concerns about e-cigarettes should be reported to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.