Can E-Cigarettes Catch Fire? It Happened at St. Luke’s Hospital
There are some reports, not many, that claim these electronic cigarettes have caught fire or have blown up. One such case occurred last week at St. Luke's Hospital in New Hartford, New York.
A source says that an employee's locker had caught fire in the first floor locker room of St. Luke's Hospital in New Hartford. No injuries were reported and there was no major damage, but it did completely melt the locker that it was stored in. The U.S. Fire Administration released a report in 2014 that talks about the safety regarding electronic cigarettes. The report states,
- More than 2.5 million Americans are using electronic cigarettes (e-cigs or e-cigarettes), and this number is growing rapidly.
- Fires or explosions caused by e-cigarettes are rare.
- Twenty-five separate incidents of explosion and fire involving an e-cigarette were reported in the United States media be- tween 2009 and August 2014.
- Nine injuries and no deaths were associated with these 25 incidents. Two of the injuries were serious burns.
- Most of the incidents occurred while the battery was charging.
- The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to be- have like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails.
- Using power sources not approved by the manufacturer to recharge a lithium-ion battery can result in an explosion and fire.
The possibility of something like this happening is rare, but real. Like any electronic device there is the risk of defect. It's important to follow any and all safety measures recommended by the manufacturer. In a location such as a hospital, this fire had the potential to spread and cause severe damage, injury, or in a rare possibility death. Keep that in mind when handling or storing these devices.