There are currently 2.5 million e-cigarette users in the U.S., so 25 incidences of e-cigarette explosions indicate that they’re an extremely rare occurrence. However, with e-cigarettes rising in popularity, explosions could also increase if precautions aren’t taken.
Luckily, as we’ll talk about below, avoiding an e-cigarette explosion is an easy task.
Most modern digital cigarettes come with a durable lithium-ion battery. If that battery type sounds familiar, that’s because it’s in many widely used electronics like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. They are known for being durable due to their total lifespan and time between charges.
Rarely, lithium-ion batteries have exploded because they have been subjected to a higher current than they are designed for. The temperature in the battery builds and eventually vents the surplus heat in the form of flames coming from the battery or an explosion.
Most lithium-ion batteries come with built-in safety features on the battery and the charging device. There aren’t currently regulations governing these features, so they’re up to the individual manufacturer. Most digital cigarette batteries have built-in protection against overcharging. Another common feature is a locking mechanism that prevents the e-cigarette from turning on in your pocket or purse.
Don’t Mix and Match
Mixing and matching e-cigarette components from different manufacturers can be dangerous. Most of the explosions that have occurred have been caused by people modifying their e-cigarettes and/or mixing components from different manufacturers. The best practice for safe use of a digital cigarette is to use components that are from the original manufacturer. Avoid tinkering with the device, including the battery.
Charging Your Battery
As mentioned above, using the correct components for your e-cigarette is key to preventing an explosion. A common thread that runs through each explosion incident is that the person was using components not specifically designed for their make and model digital cigarette. This includes what you use to charge your e-cigarette battery.
Make sure you are using the battery charger and/or adapter that comes from your e-cigarette manufacturer and is approved for use with your make and model. Many digital cigarettes come with a built-in USB port that the consumer can use to connect the device to the power adapter provided by the e-cigarette manufacturer. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware that USB ports can significantly vary when it comes to voltage in current. This isn’t something to take lightly. Exposing your battery to a voltage other than the one it is meant for can cause problems with the battery, including overheating, which can lead to a fire and/or explosion.
E-cigarette explosions are rare – even the U.S. Fire Administration agrees. And with a few easy precautions, you can help keep them that way.