Late yesterday (Aug 29th 2017), Euston Station in London was evacuated and closed down for a period to assess and deal with a bomb scare that turned out to be an e-cigarette explosion.
In these fearful times, it would be easy to image that a bag in a train station that appeared to be smoking could be something more sinister than an e cigarette. Thankfully on this occasion it wasn’t.
Passengers and staff report seeing a smoking bag yesterday evening, sparking a rush evacuation and swift response from armed police and specialist officers. The small explosion has been identified as being caused by an e cigarette within a bag.
Rather than make light of this, we are thankful for the swift actions of the police and the Euston Station staff who facilitated a quick and safe evacuation of the mainline and station, clearly showing that recent updated training on what to do if a suspect package or similar is seen has taken hold.
Pubs were closed, cordons set up, the public and staff evacuated and the incident dealt with swiftly and professionally.
What we can take from this breaking new piece is that those who protect us know what they are doing! There are systems in place and clearly they are working. Additionally, the public are aware of potential risks and know how to respond accordingly.
While this turned out to be a false alarm as far as it not being a sinister package, and offered the emergency services and staff the opportunity to practice (as it were) the protocols in place for such an event, we’d rather the public not be alarmed unnecessarily and so have the following advice for e cigarette users.
Safe Use and Transport of E Cigarettes
In order to ensure that your e cigarette is safe, works well and doesn’t cause alarm to others:
1) Ensure your e cigarette device uses the correct battery for the parts installed. When modifying a device, it is essential that you understand the energy requirements and the risks of a mismatched battery and device parts. Too much power could cause your e cigarette to explode. Always read manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. If building a device make sure you know your stuff.
2) Use a travel case or similar when transporting your e cigarette. Ensure that your batteries are well-protected (it is the powerful lithium battery, similar to those used in mobile phones, that will explode).
3) Don’t have batteries loose in your bag or pocket and do ensure that you check your device regularly. A battery that is damaged/dropped should not be used. It should be discarded (properly) and a new one used.
4) Be mindful of the temperature of your e cigarette. Leaving it in direct sunshine or near a direct heat source is not advised.
5) Lock your device. Many e cigarette devices have a lock or similar function that stops you accidentally activating it in your pocket. Make sure you know how this works on your device.
Remembering and using these tips should hopefully avoid another incident such as this one at Euston Station.
To finish, a final shout out to our emergency services and public transport staff. You do us proud!