E-Cig Fire Safety Advice After Man's Body Found
Friday, 08 August 2014
Residents are being given fire safety advice on the use of E-Cigarettes following the discovery of a deceased male at a property in Penkett Road, Wallasey.
Following this tragic incident, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will be carrying out a reassurance campaign on Friday, August 8, in the area, aiming to reach hundreds of people and highlight the dangers of not having working smoke alarms and advice on the safe use of E–Cigarettes and their chargers.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called out to the address at 11.39am on Tuesday, August 5, where there had been a small fire in a bedroom that had extinguished prior to the arrival of firefighters. The 62-year-old male casualty was discovered in the living room of the property.
Whilst the exact cause of death is yet to be established, the subsequent fire investigation identified that an E-Cigarette that had been charging in the bedroom exploded, caught fire and ignited the oxygen tube of an oxygen concentrator, which may have been in use by the occupier.
There was a small amount of smoke damage to the property. One fire appliance attended the incident.
An inquest will be held to determine the cause of the man’s death.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a reassurance campaign in Wallasey on Friday, where people will be given advice surrounding the safe use of E-Cigarettes.
Area Manager Myles Platt said: "The investigation into the cause of this fire is continuing but at this stage it is thought that the charging device being used at the time may not have been the one supplied with the E-Cigarette.
"We urge people to always use electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and guidance, always ensure that no electrical items are left charging overnight or left unattended for a long period when being charged and do not mix parts from different E-Cigarettes.
“Only use the original charger or electrical cables supplied and ensure you purchase electrical items from a reputable source.
"We understand the impact tragic incidents such as these can have on families and the wider community. Firefighters will be carrying out community reassurance visits and highlighting home fire safety in the area on Friday, August 8."
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to take care when using E-Cigarettes:
• Never leave E-Cigarettes on charge for long periods of time or unattended.
• Never leave them on charge overnight.
• Never charge them near to or on combustible or flammable materials.
• Do not mix components of different E-Cigarettes.
• Only use the charger supplied.
• Ensure you purchase your E-Cigarette from a reputable supplier.
• Check the e-cigarette carries CE certification.
• Follow the manufacturer’s guidance supplied with the device.
• Contact Trading Standards over any E-Cigarette safety concerns.
• Consider the use of fire retardant bags to place the E-Cigarettes in whilst on charge.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has also issued advice to people who use oxygen equipment:
• Never smoke, or let anyone smoke near you whilst are using oxygen.
• Never use oxygen equipment near (within 3 metres) of a cooker, open fire or naked flame.
• Always use or store oxygen equipment in a well-ventilated area.
• Never use oil-based creams or creams containing petroleum jelly when using oxygen equipment.
• Never keep combustible materials near oxygen equipment, such as newspapers, magazines, clothing and other items that may burn easily.
• Never adjust the oxygen flow rate to anything other than that prescribed by your healthcare professional.
• Always turn off oxygen equipment when not using it.
NOTES TO EDITORS
There have been nine fires involving E-Cigarettes in Merseyside since January 1, 2013, including the incident on Penkett Road in Wirral. Of those, there were four in Liverpool, three in Knowsley and two in Wirral.