E-cigarettes were to blame for 12 fires in South Yorkshire over the last three years.
South Yorkshire fire chiefs have today issued a warning about the potential dangers posed by e-cigarettes, which are commonly charged via a computer USB port.
Fire investigators believe blazes involving e-cigarettes commonly start because of faulty chargers or through being left charging for too long or close too close to soft furnishings.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s head of community safety, Trevor Bernard, said: “Fires caused by e-cigarettes are an emerging trend which a few 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.
“The advice for e-cigs is really the same as for many smaller electrical appliances like mobile phones and laptops - don’t be tempted to buy cheap unbranded chargers, don’t leave them to charge whilst you are out of the house or asleep and keep them well away from flammable materials.”
Issuing safety advice to e-cigarette users, he said: “Charge the device on a flat, solid and stable surface, such as a kitchen worktop.
“Keep the device away from flammable or combustible materials when charging.
“Never leave the device on a bed or close to soft furnishings, or in a cluttered space and don’t exceed the recommended charging time, or leave unattended for any significant length of time.”