Last updated:
5 February 2018

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Learn about the dangers of smoking at home and the risks with e-cigarettes.

Sadly, many fire deaths are caused by carelessness while smoking.

Safety tips

  • Falling asleep with a lighted cigarette or pipe can cause a serious fire so make it a rule - never smoke in bed.
  • Never empty ashtrays into the bin unless you are sure that they are fully extinguished.
  • Always check ashtrays around the house, especially if several members of your family smoke or you have had visitors who smoke.
  • Never smoke near flammable liquids around your home.
  • Never leave matches and lighters around for young children to find as many accidental fires are caused by children playing with these.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector installed in your home.


Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices which simulate tobacco smoking by vaporising a liquid solution into an aerosol mist. E-cigarettes are increasingly being used as aids to give up smoking.

E-cigarettes contain lithium-ion batteries, which have caused fires through overcharging, physical damage or defects within the batteries during manufacture. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of unbranded e-cigarette chargers available to consumers, many of which are non-compliant with safety regulations.

Specific risks found with these chargers include:

  • lack of instructions
  • overheating of the charger
  • nonconformity of the plug part
  • electric shock via the secondary parts
  • wiring not mechanically retained.

Safety tips

  • Make sure you purchase e-cigarettes from a reputable source.
  • Always use the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Only use the charger supplied with your device.
  • Don't leave e-cigarettes unattended while they are charging.
  • When charging, keep the e-cigarette and battery pack away from soft furnishings or combustible materials.
  • Unplug the battery pack once fully charged and remove the battery.
  • Do not 'mix and match' components from different e-cigarette manufacturers.
  • Don't over tighten a battery on to the charger - plug the charger in first, then gently screw the battery in until the light on the charger flashes and then stop.

If you would like to quit smoking, visit our help pages to find useful tips and advice.


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