As the quit-smoke campaign gains momentum, more and more people are abandoning their tobacco sticks for vaporizers. While inhalation in any form is perceived unhealthy, vaping is widely thought the lesser evil.
Away from the health risks associated with inhaling vapor, many vapers do not consider the risk of their vaping device exploding. Indeed, only a small pocket of such explosion-related accidents have been recorded so far. But,some are unfortunately terrible among the few records, leaving their victims with horrific facial burns – or even dead.
For instance, in the US, a man, Tallmadge E’Elia, died after severe burns from his vaporizer’s explosion. So, although scarce, a vape explosion can be fatal.
So far, the causes of a vape explosion is still not exact. However, indicators point to batteries as a likely culprit.
How Do Batteries Cause Explosions?
Vaporizers usually feature lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are common in devices – from cameras to cell phones.
Your vape device’s battery powers the heat, which, ultimately, converts e-juice to vapor.
Findings show Lithium-ion batteries are prone to fire hazards in certain pressurized conditions like planes’ baggage compartments. For this, the Federal AviationAssociation in 2015 banned the use of e-cigarette and carrying spare lithium-ion batteries in checked baggage. The risk of a lithium-ion battery explosion is pretty low in normal conditions – as low as one-in-a-million.
Also, lithium-ion batteries may explode when exposed to excessive heat from direct sunlight, overcharging, short circuit, or a battery malfunction during charging.
Batteries, however, come with safety features that prevent over charging and short circuits.
Normally, e-cigarettes come with a USB port that seems generic and compatible with all chargers and USB cables. With this wrong assumption, many vape owners use both the manufacturer-recommended specification and non-approved third-party options interchangeably. This is dangerous.
Non-recommended power adapters may expose your e-cig to too-high voltage. This is hazardous because it increases the likelihood of overheating – referred to as thermal runaway. Thermal runaway may cause the battery to melt, radiate excess heat, and cause the electrolyte to attain a boiling point. An explosion is most likely at this point.
When charging your vape device, here are some rules to stick to:
- Do not charge your vape device overnight. Excessive charging may cause an explosion
Charge according to the manufacturer’s specific recommendations. If the manufacturer says to charge for three hours max, do not charge longer.
The FDA has contemplated a safety regulatory framework for vaping manufacturers. But while we wait, let’s learn how to stay safe.
Staying safe all boils down to careful handling. Here are a few things to know to stay safe:
- Insist On Manufacturers-Approved Charger
If you must charge –of course, you should – ensure you comply with the charging rules and, importantly, use only recommended chargers. Using a charger compatible with battery cuts down on the associated risks. Also, do not overcharge.
- Not all USB ports fit
Some USB ports do not suit your e-cig. In your users’ manual, you’ll usually find the technical specifications outlined for proper voltage.
- Patronize Reputable Brands and Vendors
There are several DIY, low-budget e-cig modifications. This can be dangerous as homemade mods hardly ever come with the built-in safety parameters to avert overheating and related explosion risks.
- Cheap May Increase Your Exposure
Some low-grade vaporizers do not come with batteries or chargers. This leaves buyers sourcing for the most suitable accessories. If you have such, a simple “quality vape battery” on google will link you to thousands of sites where you can find them.
But before you buy, ensure the accessories match your manufacturer’s recommendation. Also, check the product reviews to see people’s personal experience with the product. The manufacturer’s warranty is a huge plus.
- Do Not Mix Old and New Batteries
A general rule says to use similar batteries for your vape device. Ensure the batteries have the same technical specifications. Prefer batteries approved by your device manufacturer.
- Inspect Your Battery to Ensure It Is Safe
When considering a battery replacement, ensure the battery is not more powerful than what it’s meant to power.
Again, batteries come in different quality. Low-budget batteries from low-grade, fly-by-night manufacturersare not only low performers; they increase your explosion risk.
Knowing these low-class options will cause you problems – now or later – it’s best to check for quality before you invest in any battery.
- Keep Batteries Within Moderate Temperature
Extreme temperatures – whether too cold or too hot –are unfavorable for your vape device and its batteries. Avoid leaving your device/batteries inside a car under extreme weather conditions.
You definitely won’t keep them in a freezer or an oven.
- Your Battery, Too, Needs Some Care
If your battery looks dirty, use alcohol wipes and alcohol to clean – particularly the terminal contacts. If your e-cig is not in use, switch off your battery. Also, do not over tighten the battery when attaching it to your clearomizer.
Replace your battery as soon as you perceive any damage. While it’s best to get a new one, you may also consider taking it to an electronic expert for servicing.
Wrap Up- Why Do E-Cigs Explode?
Mostly, improper handling
While vape battery explosion is scarce, the effect is dangerous. For safe vaping, the tips above should come real handy.
That said, if you must vape, do cautiously. While many literatures claim vaping poses less health risks than smoking, vapor, and any form of inhalation remains unfriendly to the lungs. More studies are needed to make conclusive statements about vape’s side effects, particularly in the long term.