All batteries can explode, and it can happen with vape batteries too.
Which is a shame, as every single incident we have heard of so far has been avoidable.
If you follow the correct safety procedures, e-cigarette battery explosions are very rare – about 1 in 10 million (source).
To enjoy vaping safely, follow the simple rules in this infographic (click the image for a larger version):
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First, don’t be alarmed. Vape batteries are far more sophisticated now than in the early years, and come with built-in safety features.
If you are buying a known brand from a reputable seller, and avoiding mechanical mods and follow the simple steps below the risk of a battery issue is extremely low. It’s also encouraging to know that the UK fire service is encouraging smokers to switch to vaping because of the reduced risk of fire.
In summer and during heat waves, it’s worth bearing in mind that vape batteries should be kept away from direct sunlight! According to FDK.com, extreme heat can lead to the resin in batteries melting and deforming, leading to electrolyte leakage and explosion.
There’s no hard and fast rule, but you want to avoid getting your battery above around 75°C. So do avoid storing your e-cig battery next to radiators/boilers or in direct sunlight.
Using the right charger
The number one cause of problems with electronic cigarettes is using the wrong charger.
In fact, at one industry meeting we were told it was the cause of every problem the group had come across. (This excludes mechanical mods, as these depends on user knowledge to operate safely. See The Vapers Guide to Voltage, Watts, and Ohms for more information.)
Use the charger supplied or recommended by your supplier to minimise problems.
Don’t leave your batteries charging unattended
Leaving a battery charging unattended probably won’t cause you a problem. But the “probably” in there is very telling.
The overwhelming majority of the time, you won’t run into an issue. But in the unlikely event that you do have a problem during charging, if you leave your battery unattended, you won’t be there to deal with the problem. Keep your charging batteries in your sight and you’ll be on-hand at the first sign of any problems.
Charge your batteries away from flammable materials
Following on from the previous point, in case you do run into problems when you’re charging your battery, keeping it away from anything flammable is a good precaution. This could make the difference between a brief, terrifying bang as the battery vents and a full-blown fire.
Use a battery case when carrying e-cig batteries
…and avoid carrying batteries with metal objects
Never walk around with loose batteries in your pocket. These can short out on keys, coins or other metal objects in your pocket and lead to an explosion.
People carrying loose batteries in their pocket without a case is the cause in about one in five cases. Get yourself a battery case and always use it when you’re carrying batteries around.
Buy from a reputable supplier
Dodgy e-cigarette batteries are brought into the country and are generally sold on markets and by sole traders.
But batteries and chargers are not something you want to skimp on. Overcharge and over-discharge protection, ROHS certification and external battery testing all cost money, so it’s well worth being wary of cheap batteries and chargers.
In short, buy known brands from reputable sellers.
Avoid contact with water
If your battery falls into or gets saturated with water, cease use. Either return it to the supplier or take it to a recycling station.
If you have a damaged battery, dispose of it correctly. If you’re not sure how, search for a hazardous waste disposal service near you.
Don’t use batteries with damaged wraps
The wraps on the outside of the battery protect the metal interior from shorting out on the inside of your mod. Only use batteries with in-tact wraps.
Even a little nick in the body of the battery that exposes the metal could lead to a problem, so look after your batteries and don’t take risk using any that could be dangerous.
Avoid over-charging and over-discharging:
Over-charging or over-discharging your battery will reduce its lifespan and could lead to more serious issues. Thankfully, good battery chargers have protections against over-charging, and most mods will prevent you from draining the battery too much, so you don’t usually have to do anything.
However, you should unplug your charger when you notice your battery is charged (so you should avoid charging overnight) and avoid running your batteries right down until you can’t vape anymore.
Clean your battery
The fire service recommends cleaning your e-cigarette battery weekly.
If you can’t manage that, do check your battery every now and again to see if any dirt or gunk has accumulated on your battery connection point. Use an alcohol wipe, cotton bud or tissue to gently clean gunk off.
Travelling with your battery
Most airlines require you to place your battery in your cabin luggage. Before putting your ecig away, make sure you turn it off by pressing the button five times.
For more information, see our Guide to Travelling with E-Cigs.
If you have a device with a removable battery, most airlines recommend this should be installed in your device before being checked into hold luggage. Ideally, you would also tape over contact points with insulation tape.
Charging your e-cigarette abroad can prove tricky, as voltage supplied by power networks varies from country to country. The best option for charging your battery is to use the charger and plug recommended by your supplier, but with a plug adaptor bought in the country you are visiting. You can also check power supply before visiting a country on this Wikipedia page.
Ideally, you would also use surge protection, although in practice it’s not always practical to carry around a surge protection device.
For more information on batteries, including 9 ways to maximise the life of your device, check out The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Electronic Cigarette Batteries.
You can also view our range of e-cigarette batteries by clicking here.
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