I’ve written a few times on this site about instances where an electronic cigarette exploded on their user. Sometimes it’s on their face when they’re taking a puff, other times it could be innocently in their pocket, or at times, it could be when it is plugged in and charging.
I had my own assumptions on what is causing these malfunctions, and for the most part, I believe it is due to non-recommended modifications being made to the vape devices. Or it could be using parts of different brands that are incompatible and trying to make them work together, creating a short circuit.
I read an article today on vapor-news.com that went into more detail on what I thought was occurring and came away nodding my head in agreement. They posit that the problem is batteries, particularly lithium batteries. When left in pressurized areas, they can cause problems, which is why they need to be in carry-on bags instead of checked at an airport these days. When the pressure becomes too great, the seal is ruptured in the battery and leads to a hazard.
The article points to the weakness of the seal on the ends of the battery that leads to further risk. When the pressure builds up to the point of rupturing, it can lead to an explosion that can propel the component pieces due to the blast, “rocketing” away.
Beyond just pressure, these incidents can arise from overheating, whether it be due to outside elements like being left in direct sunlight, or in a hot car, or just being left on a charger too long as well as general malfunction due to shoddy craftsmanship or cheap materials. In addition, using a charger that is not meant for that particular device can be a great risk as they incompatibility can cause all sorts of problems.
So what can you do to minimize this risk? Inspect your batteries carefully and look for any defects or weaknesses. If there are any issues, discontinue use and get the battery fixed or replaced. Always be sure to use the charger that comes with your e-cig and don’t try to force another brand’s charger on it. And always be sure to check for overheating, don’t leave it on the charger forever, and keep it out of hot environments.
A little common sense and TLC will keep your batteries working in perfect condition and help avoid any of the mishaps we’ve been seeing in the news.