A UK fire service has sent out a warning after an e-cigarette charger caused a van to catch fire.
While the debate about the health benefits of e-cigarette's rumbles on, should our main concern with the cigarette alternatives be whether or not they are actually safe?
A recent news story about the dangers of their chargers suggests so.
According to a Metro report, a Ford Transit van was left completely burnt out after a charging e-cigarette exploded causing paper inside the vehicle to catch fire.
The blaze spread rapidly through the van eventually engulfing the vehicle in its entirety. Fortunately the van owner wasn't in or near the vehicle at the time of the accident, which happened in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
Fire investigators claim their could be a number of reasons for the device malfunctioning, but gave the following three as the most likely:
- The e-cigarette was left to charge for too long.
- The device was left to charge near flammable or soft furnishings.
- The e-cigarette had a faulty charger.
The Metro have quoted Kevin Ronan, head of community safety at South Yorkshire Fire, as saying: "Fires caused by e-cigarettes are an emerging trend which, two years ago, simply did not exist.
"Whilst e-cigs may offer a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, they are so popular now we do need to make sure people know how charge them safely."
E-cigarettes are usually charged via a usb cable that plugs into a computer or an in-car adapter. The South Yorkshire fire service have also warned people to avoid the temptation of buying cheap unbranded chargers, and never leave e-cigs charging while you're in bed out of the house.