Exploding Vapes: What Is The Real Chance of it Happening to You?
If you follow the news, then there’s no doubt you’ll have seen horror-style headlines proclaiming terrible injuries such as third degree burns, fractures and dental damage as a result of exploding e-cigarettes. Of course, these incidents should be taken extremely seriously, but there should also be in-depth investigations into why each incident occurred to avoid demonizing the entire industry as hazardous.
Knowing Your Products
In a lot of cases, there are several elements at play which don’t apply to every e-cigarette or vape device. Firstly, the quality and origin of the device in question must be established.
More often than not, substandard products play a significant part. During the e-cigarette boom, many businesses sprung up and took advantage to flog mass-produced, low-end products to the market in the hopes of cashing in, as CEO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association Ray Story explains, “When opportunistic companies find themselves in a position where they can make a quick buck, caution is out the window, so they purchase batteries and equipment that clearly is not up to snuff.”
The lack of regulation at the time also made it difficult to establish a blanket product standard across the board, making it easy for unscrupulous supplier to provide subpar devices that were dangerous and unpredictable.
If a particular brand of devices has had issues, this should not be reason to alarm you – the recent recall of all Samsun Galaxy Note 7 cell phones was down to battery faults that caused the devices to ignite, but this doesn’t mean that you should stop using your perfectly fine cell phone in case it blows up, as long as you are using it correctly. Cheaper vaping kits and e-cigarettes sometimes don’t have built in safety mechanisms to guard against overheating.
Misuse of Batteries
If the vaping kits and liquids you are buying come from a reputable retailer with high product standards, you are greatly reducing the risk of any unfavorable incident occurring. Look for quality as opposed to what is cheapest, and look at how and where their products are produced.
Incorrect use of batteries and chargers also has a lot to answer for regarding scary e-cig explosion news stories.
E-cigarette batteries are powered by lithium, similarly to cell phones and laptops, a substance that is known to become volatile when it is treated incorrectly. This could be from using the wrong charger for a device, amateur medication of devices or simply using the wrong battery within a device. Lithium batteries within cells and laptops can also self-ignite, but unfortunately, due to the shape of vaping devices, and tampering to the lithium within them can make them propel like tiny missiles.
Fortunately, this risk is completely avoidable by proper practice, something confirmed by Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, “When used and charged properly, (e-cigarettes) pose no more of a fire risk than other products that use lithium ion batteries.”
Following the Guidelines
Always follow the manufacturers’ guidelines on what batteries and chargers to use. Just because c charger cable fits the device, it certainly doesn’t mean that you should use it. If it isn’t the one recommended by the manufacturer, this could cause the battery to short out, which is when explosions occur. “The electrolyte inside the battery is basically the equivalent of gasoline,” says Venkat Viswanathan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, “So when these batteries short out, there’s a surge of heat that causes this flammable electrolyte to combust and explode.”
Finally, a little TLC with your battery goes a long way, and could prevent any possibility of your vape exploding. Not only will your device perform better, but you will be steering away from any malfunctions. Wipe both battery and terminal with alcohol wipes to ensure it’s clean and don’t use it if you have even the slightest doubts about its health. Turn your device off when you aren’t using it as an extra precaution against overheating, and if you are unsure of anything to do with your device’s battery, charger cable or how to look after them, contact the manufacturer.
The bottom line when avoiding any accidents with your vaping device or e-cigarettes is smart shopping, common sense, and following instructions. What tips for safe e-cigarette practice do you have? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
Latest posts by Michael Grey (see all)
- What role does the Surgeon General have in e-cig regulation? - Mar 22, 2017
- Vaping trends: US vs UK - Mar 7, 2017
- Vaping predictions: the next 5 years - Feb 23, 2017