E-cigarette malfunctions cause pants to catch fire

E-cigarette malfunctions cause pants to catch fire

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Surveillance video of a man television shopping at an HGTV store in California shows the moment his pants caught fire.

Without warning, the man's e-cigarette exploded in his pants. We caught up with a local expert to learn more about what's causing the devices to blow up.

If you'll remember, a bag caught fire in the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport earlier this month from the exact same thing. A TSA officer sprinted out of the airport with the smoking bag. While sitting down with the expert, we learned e-cigarettes can still be a mobile smoking gun.

Fire and flames are showing up in the pockets of e-cigarette owners with no warning and no way to escape the sparks. The electronic pen is an alternative option for many smokers, but when they fail, the outcome can be severe. Gayle Kraft owns Vapor Trails, a local vape shop that sells them.

"I had one self-fire in my purse one time and I didn't realize it, and then I reached in my purse and there it was," Kraft said.

Kraft says most malfunctions can be avoided.

"Sometimes, you'll put your vape in your pocket without turning it off. Usually, it's five clicks, and it can self-fire."

More often than not, you should be able to hear the warning signs.

Kraft says if it fires by itself, it should make a hissing sound. Even with the safety settings and protected batteries, these vapes can result in unpreventable problems, such as the one at the airport in Savannah.

"I saw a threat and I decided to take it out of the path of the passengers," said Darrell Wade, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, TSA.

Other E-cigarette explosion victims across the country haven't been as fortunate. They've faced huge medical bills and even lawsuits.

As for E-cigarette sales in Savannah, Kraft says they haven't lost any business. She encourages all customers to research the proper use before buying one.

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