By: Nicholas King.
Last Updated: June 17th, 2017.
In rare cases, the batteries in the vaping equipment may explode, just like the batteries in phones, laptops, iPods, and PDAs do. The fire risk from certain types of types of batteries is the reason why the Federal Aviation Administration has banned such devices from checked baggage.
Sensationalist headlines like: “E-cigarette users getting burned by exploding batteries” and “E-cigarette explodes; Dingell calls for action by FDA” attract a lot of readers, and some journalists don’t make the difference between the e-cigarette and the battery entirely clear.
Here’s a thought:
How would you react to these headlines: “Samsung cell phone battery explodes in man’s pocket”, and “Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phone Explodes, Sets Man’s Jeep on Fire”
Would you stop using your cell phone?
I suspect not because those articles make it clear that defective or damaged batteries caused the explosion.
Lithium-Ion batteries are very popular in high-tech gadgets and are commonly used in cameras, power tools and even in electric cars, there are a number of safety and hanling tips you can follow to make your batteries last longer which we cover in this article. In a nutshell, vaping gear relies on a very responsive energy source to generate a very high heat in an instant. Traditional disposable batteries cannot cope with this demand, and they degenerate very quickly. Therefore, the top vape brands use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries can short-circuit and explode. Batteries can short-circuit either internally or externally.
An internal short-circuit is the worst type of failure and can occur due to a small foreign metal particle in the cell, which creates the starting point for the explosive reaction. All the stored energy is released in an uncontrolled manner and can result in a significant explosion. Examination of failed batteries can reveal such causes, and reputable manufacturers go to great lengths to prevent impure or adulterated materials from being included in their products.
However, US consumers buy an estimated 5 billion rechargeable batteries annually, and low-cost knock-offs are increasingly common. Cheap cells from little-known manufacturers in China can be purchased anywhere although we know very little about their manufacturing and quality control processes.
External events can occur when the batteries come into contact with other metals in an uncontrolled way, such as keys, coins or jewelry rubbing against electrodes in a pocket or handbag. Some of the well-known battery makers now request retailers to warn customers about adequate care for Li-Ion batteries. Sadly, many vape shops don’t do enough to make buyers aware of the dangerous potential of the cells.
Lithium-Ion batteries can explode with sufficient force to cause third-degree burns or knock out teeth if it happens in a pocket or near your face. Although there have not been any deaths associated with exploding e-cigarettes, injuries from lithium-ion batteries may be very deep, require long-term care and can be severe enough to require hospitalization and even skin grafts.
We always recommend to check out our list of the best 18650 lithium-ion batteries to make sure your buying quality, and not one of these cheaper and more dangerous models.
Gregory Conley is the President of the American Vaping Association, a nonprofit group that advocates vaping to help people stop smoking. He worries that exaggerated fears of explosions and fires could encourage people to continue smoking rather than try vaping. Since e-cigarettes first became available in the U.S. in 2007, an estimated 9 million to 10 million of the 44 million smokers in the US have already used vaping gear, and it has helped over 2.5 million Americans quit the “deadliest habit on the planet.”
Vaping proponents insist that incidents are rare and almost always preventable by taking proper care of vaping gear and batteries. When charged correctly and used properly, the explosion of lithium-ion batteries is a remote risk, and lithium-ion batteries pose a similar fire hazard to any other product that uses other similar batteries.
We have more information on lithium-ion batteries, their care and usage and tips for proper maintenance. In the meantime, we urge all our customers to ensure that they buy their batteries from a reputable source and to treat them with great care. I personally use discreet labels to pair cells and manage their use from the cradle to the grave. And I hope that you dispose of your exhausted batteries in a responsible way by making good use of your local recycling center. We all love our creature comforts – extreme vaping comes to mind! – but the environment need not suffer because of my hobbies and pastimes.