If you heard the words "e-cigarette" and "product liability scare" spoken together in the same sentence chances are that you would assume it was something to do with noxious vapours and the possibility of users developing illness. However, this week readers of newspapers in Scotland were greeted with headlines detailing how e-cigarette chargers had been implicated in a series of "highly disturbing" fires.
According to the Local Government Association, incompatible e-cigarette chargers are behind an unconfirmed number of fires. The organisation was quick to demand that e-cigarette manufacturers do more to make consumers aware of the dangers.
Experts with fire services in Scotland, England and Wales said that problems arise when incompatible chargers cause too much current to reach e-cigarette batteries, which then causes them to overheat and, ultimately, explode.
According to figures detailing fires in Scotland, England and Wales, there have been 113 callouts for e-cigarette blazes since 2012, with the number of callouts steadily rising during this period, from just 8 in 2012 to 62 in 2014.
"The recent spate of fires connected with e-cigarettes is highly disturbing and we are issuing a nationwide alert to users to be vigilant at all times. We are warning them that it is simply not worth risking their lives to save a few pounds by buying dodgy, dangerous or incompatible chargers," commented Jeremy Hilton, chair of the LGA's Fire Services Management Committee.
It is clear that unless manufacturers take action soon, there could soon be more fires, more injuries and more fatalities – to add to the one that has already taken place in the UK. And without action there remains the risk that manufacturers might face product liability compensation claims over the issue.
If you have sustained personal injury and financial loss as a result of a fire or other incident caused by a faulty or defective product, talk to the consumer injury claims specialists among our personal injury solicitors. For more information, click here.