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Exploding Vape Devices? What the News Doesn’t Tell You

This is an opinion piece and means no disrespect to those who have been injured by battery devices that have exploded. It is simply highlighting some facts that are left out of news reports regarding this topic. 

News reports tend to blow up the headlines when vape devices explode and tend to only cover the unfortunate outcome but not the actual cause. This often results in a misconception that all vape devices are ticking time bombs that will go off at any time. It’s simply not the case, despite what the headlines might make you think, devices don’t just randomly explode.

It is a serious topic that does need to get attention as people have been seriously injured. What else needs just as much attention is how avoidable it is with simple battery safety. This information is often left out which adds to the stigma that vaping devices aren’t safe.

What Else Does it Happen Too?

It’s easy to forget that many other high powered battery-operated devices have the potential to do the same. Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 situation a few years ago where they were exploding in people’s hands/pockets/bags? Even though it was a serious manufacturing error on Samsung’s part, a recall was done, the problem was fixed and its back to being a safe, quality product. Samsung’s reputation restored and now you probably wouldn’t think twice about buying their products (unless you’re an Apple user).

How Does It Happen with Vape Devices?

It’s unfortunate to say but 99.9% of the time it’s because of user error, not the device. Vaping devices use a lot of power to function. Lithium-ion batteries are used for their ability to store a higher charge density making them ideal for high-powered devices. Two main causes of battery venting and/or exploding are:

  1. user error (mostly with mechanical mods), and
  2. the integrity of the battery has been compromised.

Another rarer cause is similar to the Samsung incident where it’s a manufacturer default resulting in a recall of the device.

Mechanical Mods

Also known as Non-Regulated Device, are the most basic in construction however need the most knowledge to use. They are basic as they have no computerised parts or safety features that regulate battery power (hence the term Non-Regulated). The only safety features mechanical mods have is the user. It’s the main reason accidents are more common with this type of device when not used correctly. Knowledge of Ohm’s Law is an absolute must when building and using these devices as when something goes wrong, it can go really wrong.

Battery Integrity

Using damaged batteries is a little like playing Russian roulette. When the integrity of the battery has become compromised it is no longer safe to use. Checking your batteries each time you change them for any signs of damage is a simple way to avoid any issues.

External batteries are prone to get tears and holes in the wrapping if they aren’t stored properly. Holes in the wrapping expose the battery and any contact with metal can cause it to short. Most of the time a simple re-wrap is all you need to fix the problem. Always carry extra batteries in something like a silicone case where they cant come into contact with anything else. Damage such as dents can’t be fixed and the battery is for the bin.

Devices with an internal battery, ways to tell if something could be wrong is when it’s not charging properly. Almost all internal battery devices have a safety feature where if something is wrong it wont charge so it cant be used.

You can find out more on battery safety and safe keeping here.

It’s Avoidable

When used correctly, batteries are safe and you have nothing to worry about. Check your batteries regularly for any signs of damage no matter how small, and don’t carry loose batteries around. If you have an internal battery device and it gets damaged, don’t risk it, it’s just time to get a new device. Mechanical mods have the most potential to be dangerous so if you are heading towards using them that’s fine, but learn how to do it safely. If you are still in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you have about your batteries.

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