In emergencies call 999

Fire Service delivers warning after exploding e-cigarette battery is caught on CCTV camera

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is delivering a stark warning about the dangers of storing batteries incorrectly after dramatic footage shows a battery explode in a man’s pocket.

The shocking footage was captured on CCTV camera by chance as the man shopped in central Leeds.

The man had spare lithium-ion batteries for his e-cigarette loose in his pocket and a short circuit was caused when one of them came into contact with a metal item also in his pocket, which may have been keys or coins.

It is also possible that the two batteries shorted on one another.

The footage can be seen here:


It occurred at around 2.35pm on September 19 (2016) while the man happened to be in Boots store in the Trinity Shopping Centre Leeds.

The man was left with slight injuries and needed first aid treatment.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) 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.” 


  • There was not a fault in the lithium-ion battery, the accident happened because the ends of the battery (terminals) were exposed and came into contact with another metal object and caused a short circuit.
  • Use a plastic battery storage case which prevents the terminal ends making contact with anything metal or each other.
  • Never use damaged batteries.

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.”


West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has also released a general battery safety video, presented by Fire Investigator Jamie Lister, which includes some more top tips. This is part of our 2016 Countdown to Christmas Campaign.

Watch it here: