David burnt as e-cigarette battery explodes

PUBLISHED: 14:31 26 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:31 26 November 2015

Injuries suffered by David Yeo when an e-cigarette battery caught fire in his pocket.

Injuries suffered by David Yeo when an e-cigarette battery caught fire in his pocket.

Archant

An Exmouth man has suffered serious burns after an e-cigarette battery blew up in his trouser pocket.

Colony resident David Yeo was severely burned by an e-cigarette that ignited while in the pocket of his jeans. Ref exe 7253-48-15SH. Picture: Simon HornColony resident David Yeo was severely burned by an e-cigarette that ignited while in the pocket of his jeans. Ref exe 7253-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

David Yeo, 35, of Salisbury Road, was spending a quiet evening at home when the battery - a spare loose in his pocket - burst into flames without warning.

He suffered third degree burns in the incident, and is warning other e-cigarette users to be careful.

Describing what happened, David said: “There was a massive bang and flames shot out. It was like a Roman Candle firework had been set off.

“I tried to drop to the floor to put myself out, but the hallway was too small. I managed to rip my jeans off, but by that time it was too late – my jeans and jumper had gone up.

“It was lucky my girlfriend was there. She was beating the flames out as I was trying to remove my jeans.”

David eventually got his clothes off and out of the house and an ambulance was called.

He said: “I was in a state of complete shock – I was shaking and screaming.”

David was taken to hospital and, though discharged that night, he has had to attend Exmouth Hospital daily to have bandages changed.

He has also had to make multiple visits to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, while waiting to hear if he will require a skin graft.

He has also been signed off from work at Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, near Budleigh Salterton – a job he only started earlier this month.

David says he had some loose change in his pocket with the battery when it ignited, but does not know if that was the cause.

He said he would advise other e-cigarette users to always check their battery safety guidelines.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said it did not have any specific advice on batteries in pockets, but referred to advice given by the charity Electrical Safety First.

It says users should carefully follow instructions supplied by the manufacturers, pay close attention to any warnings supplied with the product, ensure that e-cigarettes were not left charging for long periods or overnight, and look for the CE mark, which indicates chargers comply with European safety standards.

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