London Fire Brigade

255 times more likely to have a fire caused by tobacco than vaping Brigade says

30 August 2017

Following confirmation from British Transport Police that an e-cigarette caused a small explosion at Euston Station last night, the Brigade is re-issuing its message that you’re 255 times more likely to have a house fire smoking tobacco compared to vaping.

Firefighters were called at 1948 to assisted police officers at the incident in Euston. The station was evacuated whilst police officers and search dogs checked the area was safe.

A bag was found which contained an e-cigarette that was believed to have exploded. There were no injuries.

Safer option

Although four times as many people smoke as they do vape, there are 255 times more smoking related fires, meaning vaping is a safer option in terms of reducing the risk of fires.

Four fires in London have been recorded in the past year due to e-smoking equipment catching fire. While there are no recorded deaths or injuries at incidents the Brigade has attended, users are reminded to never leave their e-cigarette on charge while they are away from the house or asleep, and to always use the correct type of charger for their e-cigarettes.

Group Manager for Community Safety Mark Hazelton said:

“There have been cases where e-cigarette have exploded but the numbers are small in comparison with the significant amount of fire and fire deaths we see each year caused by smoking. In the last three years there has been 66 fire deaths caused by smoking and none relating to e-cigarettes. Overflowing ashtrays or a cigarette dropped while snoozing are typical causes of fatal fires. Quitting smoking is not only good for your health but also makes a devastating fire in your home less likely.

“As with all rechargeable electrical equipment, it’s vitally important that people use the correct type of charger for their e-cigs to prevent fires from happening.”

1,213 smoking related fires

The Brigade's figures show in London, over the past five years, the number of fire deaths caused by smoking is 76. Last year there were 1,213 smoking-related fires, with 108 people being injured.

The majority of smoking related fires in the home started in rooms where people sleep - while three per cent of smoking related fires start in the toilet or bathroom.