Warnings after Exploding Head Torch Battery Causes Fire at National Centre Press Release

© Glenmore Lodge

A fire caused by an exploding rechargeable head torch battery, has led to warnings for vigilance from Glenmore Lodge, Scotland's National Outdoor Training Centre.

The fire destroyed a first floor bedroom at the Centre and all possessions in the room. Whilst the situation was thankfully contained, it has prompted Glenmore Lodge to urge everyone to reconsider leaving electronic items recharging unattended and to share guidance issued by the Fire Service.

Shaun Roberts, Principal of the Training Centre, said " Our student had left the head torch on charge in preparation for an over night expedition the next day. We all understand the desire to have 'full charge' before heading out and few of us would think we need to monitor the device whilst it was charging. Consequently the head torch was charging within an empty bedroom and during this time the batteries overheated, melting the compartment and exploding the internal contents of the battery 3 metres across the room, onto a mattress and created a blaze that destroyed the bedroom."

The fire was contained thanks to the fire prevention design of the building, the efforts of the Fire Service and thanks to the quick response of staff, trained to respond to emergencies.

Shaun adds "The battery looked like a spent shot gun cartridge. The head torch is not a make that any of us would recognise as our regular brands and the device was purchased on line via the southern hemisphere. A good price for a powerful LED but also a health and safety lottery. We'll be asking all guests staying at Glenmore Lodge to never leave a device charging unattended and for us all to check out the CE certification printed on our personal devices. Whether we use them at home or when we're traveling. We are lucky that this occurred in a modern building, designed to cope, but what if this happened in your home or mountain hut?"

  • The following advice has been issued by the Fire Service to help keep people safe:
  • Never leave any device on charge unattended for long periods
  • Only use the charger supplied with the device
  • Ensure you purchase your gadget from a reputable source
  • Check the device carries CE certification
  • Test your smoke alarm regularly
  • Close doors to prevent fire spreading
  • Contact Trading Standards over any safety concerns

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20 Feb, 2018

Oof, looks like an 18650 rechargeable, which seem to be of variable provenance online. Similar stories in the MTB light world. We all like a bargain but it's definitely worth keeping an eye on any eBay/online specials whilst charging. 

20 Feb, 2018

SE Asian manufacturers have access to the newest and most powerful LED's, as they are all made there. A disreputable supplier can easily throw a very powerful torch together without any product safety testing. You may get a very powerful torch for not much money......or you may get a dangerous fire hazard. The advice about looking for CE marks is good, but unfortunately there is also a history of some suppliers faking these. The obvious solution is to pay a bit more money and stick to an established brand, however this does make it difficult for newer or smaller brands to get off the ground.

20 Feb, 2018

Not sure if it was a joke but iam sure i read somewhere, there is a torch that actually claims to be able to light fires in an emergency

20 Feb, 2018

Hopefully the on/off button isn't as sensitive as on my headtorch which always seems to be on in my bag.

21 Feb, 2018

Samsung made a phone like that, I believe....


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