Vaping explosions: What they are, why they happen, and how to avoid them
Posted 17th Dec 2015 to The Science of Vaping
Never one to avoid negative press for long, vaping has once again become headline news as accidents with vape kits make it into the media.
So what’s happening, why is it happening, and how can you stop it from happening to you?
What are vaping explosions?
They’ve become known as vaping explosions. They can happen in a couple of scenarios, either when someone picks up their electronic cigarette or kit, starts to vape, and has the device explode, or when they leave it charging and it explodes.
There’s no denying that these accidents are tragic and upsetting events, and some have severely hurt vapers – even those who have been vaping for years. Some users have successfully sued vape suppliers for products that have exploded, but many incidents can be put down to user error.
Why do vaping explosions happen?
The problem lies in the battery. You will have likely heard of mobile phones overheating during charging and catching fire, and this can be a similar story with e-cigarettes. Charging the battery with an incompatible charger is the main reason behind it, although some batteries may be damaged by leaving the device charging for extended periods of time.
When a vape explodes during use instead of while charging, it is extremely likely that it’s a mechanical mod. Such mods are great at producing loads of vapour, and are easy to use with a simple push-to-start button. Again, the problem is the battery. If it’s too old and deteriorated, it may be more likely to cause an accident.
How can you prevent a vaping explosion?
It’s all about being sensible, having the right gear, and updating your kit if it’s getting old.
Good vape hardware already comes with safety measures built-in. For example, Vapemate kits offer short-circuit protection as well as low-voltage protection, which ensures that the battery shuts off before it can fully discharge. The devices also have a 10-second auto-shutoff, which keeps you from burning the tank, cartomizer or atomizer. Some devices also offer overcharge protection.
You should also be sensible with your vape products. Most batteries should charge within just 2-3 hours, so you shouldn’t leave them plugged in for much longer than that, and you should never leave them charging overnight.
It’s absolutely vital that you charge your batteries with the correct equipment. This means double-checking that you’ve got the right charger whether at home or in the car every time you need to top up.
Finally, if you have an older mod – especially a mechanical one – it may be wise to swap out the batteries for new ones to ensure they aren’t deteriorating and becoming a hazard.
This is one set of rules that we hope will be part of any new regulatory statements from governments around the world – that vapers are well informed on how to stay safe, and that suppliers are only offering products that are as safe as possible. Industry regulation may be one great way to help inform people of the potential for danger and how to avoid it.