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Battery explodes, catches on fire multiple times during shift

ecigarette battery
ecigarette battery

An electrochemical device detonated and ignited twice while in a worker’s possession.

Authorities recently investigated what caused an e-cigarette to explode and catch on fire multiple times.

The lithium-ion battery that powers the vaping device recently began hissing and popping before becoming so hot it burnt through the employee’s uniform.

“The heat was so intense that it melted through the pocket and fell to the floor where it burst into flames,” the Mineral Products Association safety alert said.

“The health and safety manager heard this and on leaving his office to investigate instructed the air conditioning engineer to grab a nearby carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, which he did, and proceeded to extinguish the flames. This took a couple of attempts as the battery re-ignited.”

Resulting smoke activated the site fire alarm, prompting a full evacuation until it was safe to return to duty. Part of the floor was damaged and the engineer suffered a minor burn to his thigh.

Investigators discovered the battery cell was probably faulty. The only other items in the victim’s pocket were a plastic pen and mobile phone in a plastic case.

They made the following recommendations:

  • only use the supplied charger for charging
  • do not cover batteries that are being recharged in case of overheating
  • protect batteries against sunlight, damage, crushing, puncturing and moisture
  • avoid counterfeit goods and only buy e-cigarette devices from reputable retailers
  • choose e-cigarettes with safety features and do not remove or disable safety features
  • do not recharge overnight, regularly check the battery indicator light and unplug when full
  • never let your battery come into contact with coins, keys or other metal items to avoid short circuits and explosions.

Click here to read the full safety alert.

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