Battery Safety and it’s importance in vaping.
Battery safety is something everyone who uses a vaping device should have a working knowledge of. You may have noticed stories popping up in the news lately involving E-cigarettes, lithium-ion batteries, and explosions. You may also be lead to believe that it’s a common every day occurrence with how frequently it appears, vape gear exploding at the drop of a hat. According to FEMA:
- Fires or explosions caused by e-cigarettes are rare.
- Twenty-five separate incidents of explosion and fire involving an e-cigarette were reported in the United States media between 2009 and August 2014.
- Nine injuries and no deaths were associated with these 25 incidents. Two of the injuries were serious burns.
- Most of the incidents occurred while the battery was charging.
“In five years, 25 people experienced a battery going thermal. Out of “more than 2.5 million Americans.” (per FEMA, check the link above)
Is it really something you should be concerned with? Well, yes.
As with all batteries (cell phone, laptops, and even AAA batteries in your TV remote are not exempt!) they are potent packages of tightly packed chemical energy, and they have to be to function! Unfortunately, this translates to a potential for failure, and when a failure does occur, it’s usually quite dangerous. Batteries that have been damaged or treated improperly will vent noxious fumes, spew jets of flame, or even just explode. This is compounded and made worse if you are using those batteries in a device, any type of device, that has no ventilation. If it happens to you, you’ll be the proud owner of your very own pipe bomb!
Now, as negative as that all sounds, batteries are actually quite safe! If you know what you’re doing, you can effectively mitigate your risk.
- Per FEMA, most incidents occur in the charging process. Make sure you are using the proper charging equipment! If you have a sealed battery device (You cannot remove the battery), ensure that you only charge the device using a wall brick that gives out 1 Amp (1000 mAh) or less.
- Don’t leave your device on the charger unattended! If you feel like your device is getting warmer than usual, discontinue use immediately.
- Ensure your device has a ventilation system. If something goes wrong, vent holes will prevent the device from turning in to a pipe bomb!
If you use a device with removable batteries you’ll have a few extra steps to take:
- Never stick loose batteries in your pocket or purse! All it takes is absentmindedly slipping a penny into your pocket and your battery can possibly short. Always use a plastic or other non-conductive material case to hold batteries that are not on your charger, or in your device.
- Check your battery wraps regularly, the plastic layer over your battery is there to keep you safe, not just to look pretty! If you see holes in the plastic, you should either re-wrap the batteries, or replace them all together.
- Make sure you use the proper charger! With chargers meant for loose batteries, don’t buy the cheapest one! Some of these chargers do not automatically shut off once the battery is full. When this happens, the “trickle charge” can over charge a battery and cause issues. Make sure you’ve got a good quality device that will detect when a battery is fully charged and turn off.
- If you’re using a mechanical device, be aware of Ohm’s Law. If you try and pull too much power out of a battery too quickly, it can cause it to overheat and begin “thermal runaway”. Be aware of the resistance of the coils you are using in relation to the batteries capability to output it’s energy.
There is a lot of information to know about batteries and their proper use, and at Offbeat and Unique in Gilbert, we pride ourselves at being experts on battery safety. If you ever have any questions about the proper use of e-cigarette batteries, feel free to stop in and get one on one assistance.
Offbeat and Unique
235 E. Warner Rd., Suite 101
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Store Hours: Monday thru Saturday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm