Are Vapes a Fire Hazard? - Fire Trade Supplies

Since the government announced its ban on disposable vapes, the conversation surrounding them has been louder than ever. It’s one of the most common habits in the UK, but with 2 vapes being thrown away every second, most of us still don’t know the proper way to dispose of them.

Today, we’ll be discussing the correct ways to dispose of vapes, and why it’s so important.


Lithium-ion Batteries

Vapes contain lithium-ion batteries, one of the most common types of battery. Though they are incredibly useful (they are rechargeable and long-lasting), lithium-ion batteries can be highly flammable. If they become damaged, lithium-ion batteries are known to cause fires that are extremely difficult to control.

Much of the time, vape fires are caused by improper disposal. Since they are marketed as “disposable”, single-use vapes are often thrown in general waste bins. A 2023 article from The Guardian “found that more than 700 fires in bin lorries and recycling centres were caused by batteries that had been dumped into general waste.”


Vapes should not be disposed of at home. Vapes should be recycled or disposed of in the following ways:

  • Return your used vape to a shop with a recycling bin for used vapes
  • Return your vape to the supplier
  • If possible, remove the battery from your vape and recycle it at your local recycling centre or supermarket
  • Research guidelines from your local council about recycling vapes at your local recycling centre


Why are vapes a fire hazard?

It's all to do with the lithium-ion battery inside. When a lithium-ion battery gets damaged, it can trigger a process called thermal runaway. This is a process that is accelerated by an increase in temperature, and ultimately becomes uncontrollable and causes an aggressive fire.


What should I do if my vape catches fire?

Sound the fire alarm, evacuate, and call the fire brigade.