Many people are still unaware that the vast majority of electronic cigarettes – whether mods, tubular e-cigs or pods – today are equipped with safeguards that regulate output power and protect vapers against dangerous malfunctions of the battery. In the vape, only unregulated mechanical mods present a serious risk of accident for inexperienced users.
What are the causes of explosions and gassing associated with vaping?
The most common causes of accidents related to vaping batteries are most often user errors.
Most “e-cigarette explosions” are not even caused by an electronic cigarette but by human error. The only way to avoid them is to be informed and to respect the safety rules. As with everything, prevention is better than cure.
Unprotected batteries carried in pockets or purses
A large majority of “vaping explosions” are caused by unprotected batteries carried in trouser pockets or purses and not by vaping devices. In the United States, researchers from the Center for Tobacco Products of the FDA found that 77.3% of burns caused by vaping accidents involved the upper leg and the lower part of the trunk, i.e. the location from the trouser pocket.
When you press the ignition button of an electronic cigarette, the “fire” button, current flows between the positive (+) and negative (-) poles of the battery so that the resistance is supplied and can heat up to vaporize the e-liquid. This is how all modern portable electronic devices work, such as portable drills and electric toothbrushes for example, and like these products, vaping devices on the market today have redundant safety systems. which prevents the batteries from overheating and degassing in the event of a malfunction.
Mislabeled batteries and low-resistance coils
It’s a bit more technical, but there is a limit to the amperage an e-cigarette can draw from a battery. Too often, these figures are exaggerated by battery manufacturers who play one-upmanship to attract consumers. This is the case if a poor quality battery – rated for 30A Continuous Discharge Current (CDC) – will only be able to withstand 30 amps for a few seconds and not for continuous use. We sometimes see the mentions of Maximum Discharge Current (CDM) or Pulse printed on the packaging but it is not this indication that must be considered.
Counterfeit or poor-quality batteries
Batteries are mass-produced – mostly in Asia – and factory-tested. Those that do not meet the standards to be sold directly to electronics manufacturers are sometimes sold to resellers, who repackage them under other brands and sell them for other uses. We talk about “rewrappers”.
The most reliable batteries for vaping are those made by major manufacturers such as LG, Samsung or Sony. Some rewrappers have specialized in batteries for the vape by offering batteries that hold up for the use we make of them.
Almost all batteries intended for vaping are lithium-ion (Li-ion) or lithium-polymer (LiPo) batteries, the chemistry of which is generally safe. However, it is possible to come across a poor quality battery, especially if you buy cheap batteries, which are often reconditioned poor quality cells.
Unsuitable battery chargers
Let’s be frank, even if most electronic cigarettes allow you to charge the batteries using the supplied USB cord, it is strongly recommended to invest in a battery charger dedicated to vaping which will offer more security and better quality of charge.
It is possible to accidentally overcharge battery-powered electronic cigarettes, especially if you use a USB charger designed for another type of battery or the wrong amperage. If you use a USB charger intended for large-capacity batteries to charge a vape pen, for example, this can create instability in the battery cell. So be sure to check the charging capacity of your USB charger and make sure it matches the maximum charging capacity of your e-cigarette.
Simple precautions to use your batteries safely
Legal actions brought by victims of accidents involving batteries against vape shops and battery manufacturers have become commonplace around the world. But it is rare for an electronic cigarette explosion to be attributable to the seller or the manufacturer. Almost all of them are caused by user error while the safety rules are simple to apply. It is enough to be rigorous and not to tempt the devil.
In the future, there will be safer batteries that will eliminate the dangers. In the meantime, it is up to vapers to be responsible and to take all measures to ensure their safety when using batteries. Now that you have read these lines, you know how to protect yourself and avoid accidents.