(WVUE) - Louisiana's State Fire Marshal issued a warning about electronic cigarettes on the same day the Federal Drug Administration announced the devices would fall under federal regulation.
In a press release, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office said its concern surrounded the devices' lithium-ion batteries, which investigators said can lead to serious burns.
The office cited a recent case involving a Baton Rouge man, who suffered second-degree and third-degree burns to his hand and leg after placing an e-cigarette in the pocket of his pants. Fire marshals say a Houma man's leg was also seriously burned when his electronic cigarette's battery exploded.
Investigators said they found that some burn victims placed loose batteries near coins, keys and other metal objects, which can cause the batteries to release gasses and ignite.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office recommended the following steps:
- Make sure batteries are free of dents and scratches. Check the plastic coating covering the battery, to make sure it's not broken or worn away.
- When placing batteries in an electronic cigarette, or charger, make sure they're are placed in the correct polarity (positive-positive; negative-negative, etc.).