Electronic cigarette charger causes huge explosion

A charger used to power an e-cigarette was found to have set off an explosion that destroyed part of a home in Hampshire.

The ''unbranded'' USB charger, not supplied with the e-cigarette, was recovered by investigators from a bedroom in the home.

According to investigators, the overheated e-cigarette started a fire, which led to the explosion of an air horn canister.

BBC reported Hampshire Fire and Rescue investigator Dan Tasker as saying the consequences of using the wrong charger with the wrong device could be devastating.

Tasker said the incident on 14 July was the latest in a string of incidents in the UK involving the use of cheap or inappropriate chargers.

He added the authorities were extremely relieved that on the occasion none was harmed.

According to Hampshire Trading Standards, e-cigarettes could be susceptible to overheating due to the type of battery they contained.

A spokesman said the message was "do not buy cheap or unbranded chargers for use with e-cigarettes, mobile phones or any other devices".

He added, at worst they could potentially give a fatal electric shock or cause a very serious house fire.

The blaze is the latest in a string of incidents in the UK involving cheap or faulty chargers.

The Daily Mail quoted Tasker as saying the house owner's son had lost the original charger that came with the e-cigarette kit, so he used a different USB charger and then went out.

He added this then overheated with sparks landing on the bed, setting it afire, which led to the canister expanding and exploding.

He said plugs needed to be appropriate for the device they were charging and not all could be transferred between devices.

He added, the consequences of using the wrong charger with the wrong device could be devastating.

An explosion in a bar engulfed a teenage barmaid at Buck Inn Hotel in Richmond, North Yorkshire in April.  The explosion occurred after a colleague plugged his e-cigarette into his iPad charger.

A woman in Derbyshire who left an e-cigarette on charge in her car for 10 minutes found the car's back seat completely melted as black smoke billowed from the vehicle.