Exploding e-cig battery leaves Wigan man with burns

E-cigarette warning
E-cigarette warning

Firefighters assisted a man suffering burns to his legs, hands and right forearm after an e-cigarette battery exploded in a house in Shevington yesterday.

Three crews, two from Wigan and one from Hindley, responded to a call from a property on Dixon Drive in Shevington at 6.45pm on Wednesday 22 August.

On arrival firefighters established that although no fire was under way the homeowner was in some pain and distress after the battery, which had been in his trouser pocket, exploded while he was in his living room. Firefighters also comforted distressed family members, including a young girl of around five years of age who had witnessed the incident.

The e-cigarette battery itself had been thrown out the rear of the property into the back garden – crews retrieved what remained of the battery for fire investigation purposes.

Inside, a large burn mark roughly the size of a beermat was identified on a carpet while the injured man, who was conscious and breathing, was treated by emergency services colleagues from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and swiftly taken to nearby Whiston Hospital.

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (GMFRS) Watch Manager, Glyn McGann from Wigan, who was at the scene, said: “Having been called to a domestic emergency in Shevington yesterday I’m pleased to say GMFRS were quickly on the scene and made a swift assessment of the situation.

“Though there was nothing to extinguish it was important for us to assist the injured homeowner and his family who were clearly in some distress. The gentleman had been in his lounge when the battery exploded in his trouser pocket, injuring both his thighs. Following this, the battery fell onto the floor, burning the carpet.

"The man then picked up the battery and threw it out of the house, in the process sustaining further injuries to both hands and his right arm.

“Crews were able to collect for assessment what remained of the e-cigarette battery.

“You may not know, but every year 200 people die and 2,000 people are injured across Britain in fires that start in living rooms. With this incident in mind, never put a battery in your pocket and make sure when storing them to do so safely.”

When using e-cigarettes and Lithium-ion batteries and electrical devices ensure you:

Always use the charger that came with your device

If you need to buy a replacement battery always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are lots of fakes out there, and it can be difficult to spot the difference

Avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures

Make sure your batteries are stored safely and away from other metal items such as keys

Protect batteries against being damaged – that's crushed, punctured or immersed in water

Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete – it's best not to leave your phone plugged in overnight, for example

Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed