Fire crews have released CCTV footage of the moment an e-cigarette battery exploded in the user’s pocket - inches from a baby’s pram.
Images captured inside the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds show the man casually unaware of the plume of smoke coming from his pocket until it begins fizzing violently, emitting a bright light as it explodes and sending shoppers scampering for safety.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the explosion occurred when a spare lithium-ion battery in the man’s pocket came into contact with another metal item, such as coins or keys.
Fire investigator Jamie Lister said: “This footage clearly shows the dangers of storing batteries alongside any metal objects, be it keys, coins, or even your phone if it has a metal case.
“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.
“There does not need to be a fault with the battery, the problem is the incorrect storage of the batteries.”
E-cigarette users have been warned to carry batteries in a plastic case to prevent them short circuiting.
Mr Lister said: “There has been a marked increase in the number of fires we have seen, attributable to the incorrect storage of batteries.
“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.”