Florida man dies in e-cigarette explosion, police say
Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, was found dead this month after a fire alarm went off at his home and officers arrived on the scene, according to his autopsy report. Officials found him with a wound to his top lip area and areas of burns to his body. His death has been ruled accidental.
The cause of death is identified as a projectile wound to the head, Bill Pellan, director of investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office, said Tuesday.
The projectile was from a section of an e-cigarette. The autopsy noted that the e-cigarette was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain and was a “mod” type device.
Larger vaporizers — such as the device found in the St. Petersburg case — come with much larger and more powerful batteries.
“The two major causes of dramatic failures with the larger units are overcharging of the battery and then the shorting of the battery,” Kiklas said.
“Lithium ion batteries fail in other devices as well, but in a laptop, it’s on your lap,” he said. “In this case, with an e-vapor product, it’s close to the face.”
Though such incidents are rare, this isn’t the first time a spontaneous e-cigarette explosion has raised concerns.
None of those cases was fatal.
Kiklas said there are two steps e-cigarette users can take to avoid the risk of an explosion.
“We’ve put the caution out before,” Kiklas said.
“Make sure that you use the charger that comes with the battery, and make sure the charger has a shutoff device, an automatic shutoff device, so it’s not overcharged. That’s typically the biggest issue which causes batteries to fail,” he said. “And two, never carry a battery alone, out of its case, in your pocket with change or keys, because that’s another way the batteries can short themselves out.”
News credit : Cnn