A South Ayrshire pensioner has had a lucky escape after an e-cigarette exploded while charging at his home in Troon.

Trading standards officers have issued a warning to people using the technology to stick to a few simple rules to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them.

In a recent incident at a sheltered housing unit in Troon a cheap e-cigarette bought on an overseas holiday exploded after being plugged in for the first time and charged for just five minutes.

The pensioner heard a loud bang and a whoosh, describing the explosion as being like a Roman candle firework going off in his living room.

E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in Scotland in recent years.

Ash Scotland estimates that in 2010 just 3 per cent of smokers aged 18+ used e-cigarettes, with the number having soared to 17 per cent by 2014.

The technology is increasingly used by people trying to cut down on their tobacco consumption and by those looking to quit.

Mike Newall, Head of Neighbourhood Services, South Ayrshire Council said it always pays to put safety first: “We charge so many gadgets these days that it’s easy to take their safety for granted; but as incidents like these show, there is a real and present danger.

“While in the majority of cases charging will be completely safe, it’s worth remembering that batteries can and do overheat, and without taking proper care to ensure your device is safe you can run the risk of starting a fire.

“We would recommend buying from a trusted source, always use the charger that comes with your device, and above all use common sense.”

Here are some of the top tips for safely charging electronic cigarettes.

Don't overcharge. Remove the battery from charge when complete and never leave a charging battery unattended

Never charge a battery that has been damaged or dropped and never leave a charging battery unattended

Especially don't use if wet