Could your e-cigarette device explode?

Florida's state fire marshal warns of dangers from e-cigarette devices

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida's state fire marshal wants e-cigarette users to be aware of the risks to more than just their health.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis pointed to a recent case in Manatee County to highlight the dangers associated with e-cigarette devices. A man had to be airlifted to a local hospital with second- and third-degree burns after an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket, Patronis said.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that have become a popular alternative to smoking, but they can be hazardous, Patronis warned.

"In May, a vape pin explosion was found to be the cause of death of a St. Petersburg man," Patronis said. "Floridians should be aware of the real fire hazards associated with e-cigarettes and protect themselves from the serious injuries these devices can cause.”

MORE: Clearing the smoke: Taking a look inside world of teen vaping

According to a 2017 report from the U.S. Fire Administration, there were at least 195 incidents in which an electronic cigarette exploded or caught fire from 2009 through 2016, resulting in 133 injuries, 38 of which were severe. 

Tips to help avoid e-cigarette explosions:

  • Consider using devices with safety features such as firing button locks, vent holes, and protection against overcharging.
  • Don’t let batteries come in contact with coins, keys, or other metals in your pocket. Keep loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with metal objects. 
  • Never charge a device with a phone or tablet charger. Always use the charger that came with it.
  • Don’t charge a device overnight or leave it charging unattended.
  • Replace the batteries if they get damaged or wet. If the device gets damaged and the batteries are not replaceable, contact the manufacturer.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.