A U.K. man literally saw sparks fly after a spare battery for his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket.
The incident was caught on a shopping centre security camera in Leeds, England, as the victim casually walked through the store. According to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), the short circuit was caused when one of the batteries came into contact with metal in the man’s pocket.
“This is not the first time we have seen injuries caused by a lithium-ion battery exploding whilst being carried in someone’s pocket. We really want the public to understand the risks which can be easily avoided,” said WYFRS fire investigator Jamie Lister. “There does not need to be a fault with the battery, the problem is the incorrect storage of the batteries.”
The man was left with minor injuries.
According to fire services, spare batteries for e-cigarettes should never be carried loose in your pocket. They should always be stored in a plastic battery storage case to prevent the battery from coming into contact with anything that may cause it to spark.
“The use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries is now commonplace in modern society and that’s why we want people to be vigilant because a simple mistake could have a devastating consequence,” said Lister.
This week another video capturing an e-cigarette exploding in a man’s pocket on a bus in California went viral. The man was transported to hospital with burns to his leg.
WATCH: Fresno man sent to hospital after e-cigarette explodes inside pocket
In Canada, the issue of who is in charge of regulating the growing use of e-cigarettes has been a challenge for the federal government, says David Hammond, a professor in the school of public health at the University of Waterloo.
READ MORE: Health Canada slow to regulate e-cigarettes
Kate Ackerman, with the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada, said in an email to Global News that that e-cigarettes are “not a single product, but a category of thousands of products.”
“Some are not compatible with others,” Ackerman said. “Using non-compatible parts together, as with any electronic or electrical/mechanical device, dependent on battery power, can cause shorts, explosions, fires, or simply not work or work for a short time then develop an issue.”
— With files from Andrew Russell