The government has today (17 November 2014) launched a number of measures to boost the safety of e-cigarettes in response to increasing concerns over the number of fires caused by their use.
Responding to a growing number of incidents caused by faulty e-cigarette chargers, the Department for Communities and Local Government has put forward a number of tips to help consumers stay safe.
Fire Safety Minister Penny Mordaunt MP said:
Fire safety is our first priority, which is why in Electrical Fire Safety Week it is important to make sure consumers have access to good advice on these products, including tips on how to minimise any risk of accidents from over-charging or faulty chargers.
To help consumers use e-cigarettes safely, the Fire Kills campaign offers the following tips for these products and general advice for Electrical Fire Safety Week:
- follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully
- take notice of 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 when you are out of the house
- look for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European Safety standards
- do not overload plug sockets
- check that your electrical products have not been recalled
- avoid buying counterfeit or substandard goods
- switch off appliances at the socket when not in use
In addition the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has commissioned a number of Trading Standards departments to investigate whether current e-cigarette safety information is sufficient and widely available enough to consumers.
The move is one of a number of measures the government is taking as part of Electrical Fire Safety Week, part of a campaign to ensure that families have more knowledge of the risks to their home from electrical devices and take practical steps to avoid them.
Consumer Affairs Minister, Jo Swinson said:
We have all seen the recent media coverage about fires caused by e-cigarettes, so it is clear that consumers need to be aware of the risks posed by them and know how to charge them safely.
This is why I have asked Trading Standards to look at what information is currently available to consumers and to explore whether we need to do more to make sure there is enough guidance to help them stay safe.
For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page.