From drones to power tools, lithium-ion cells catching fire and exploding seem to be making headlines all across the globe. Internal short-circuiting is one of the big risks, and there are generally two causes of this: a poorly manufactured cell and user abuse. This article will highlight what the experts are saying about battery safety concerns and some of the precautions you can take for a safe vaping experience.
The U.S. FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products held a Public Workshop in April 2017 on “Battery Safety Concerns in Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).” At the workshop, an official from the National Fire Data Center provided results on data that the U.S. Fire Administration gathered from media reports on ENDS-related fire incidents. The official claimed that the data could not be assumed to be comprehensive across-the-board but was a fairly well-researched dataset.
Vape Battery Explosion Statistics
According to the data, incidents of battery explosions in vaping devices have been negligible. The data revealed 195 incidents from 2009 to 2016 with 133 of them leading to acute injuries. It’s a rather small figure considering there are ten million or more users of ENDS in the U.S. The data suggests that the problem emerges from mishandling batteries or utilizing batteries of questionable manufacturing.
Out of the 200 battery mishaps, about 60 occurred in a Vaper’s pocket or while they were actually vaping a device. About 50 occurred when the batteries were being charged and another 20 fired up when the batteries were lying idle.
In order to significantly reduce the chance of vaping batteries exploding, we need to clearly recognize the dos and don’ts of handling lithium-ion batteries.
As our previous report states, a solid electrolyte cell is something we can look forward to on the horizon. But presently, we are using Li-Ion batteries that have a liquid electrolyte. It is the electrolyte that lies between the two electrodes of the cell that is responsible for most of the battery heating issues. The Center for Tobacco Products has offered these precautions to be taken to avoid Vape battery explosions.
18650 Battery Safety Precautions
- Choose devices that have safety features such as firing button locks, battery vent holes and a battery cover.
- Loose batteries must be kept away from any other metallic objects such as coins and keys. Such contact can be avoided by using a carrying case for loose batteries.
- Charging of the device must never be done with a phone or a tablet charger. Only the charger that came with the device must be used.
- When charging, the device needs to always be kept within sight. It should not be charged overnight. Ensure that any objects that can catch fire are not in contact with the device when you are charging it. It is also recommended to charge on a clean and flat surface.
- When batteries appear to be damaged, they should be immediately replaced. The same needs to be done when batteries get wet.
- Use the batteries that come with the device, or batteries recommended by the manufacturer. It is very important that batteries of different brands, mAh, or different age never be used together.
- Vape devices must not be exposed to direct sunlight or left in cars overnight where they would be exposed to extreme temperatures.
Safety precautions are most important with a fully-charged battery. It can be extremely dangerous when all that energy is released accidentally. With that in mind, a battery must never be overcharged. When aa battery is overcharged, its electrolytes become damaged. Overcharging can occur when a battery is left on a charger unattended for a significant amount of time. Overcharging may also occur when using an improper USB cable. The voltage has to be suitable for the device. A 5V USB port must not be used with a device that is rated 1V or 3V.
For more than a decade, Industry leaders have been making considerable progress in their lithium-ion battery manufacturing process. The three-decade old Lithium Ion industry is at a point where just about all safety concerns and possible risks are being addressed. Properly safeguarding and carefully using lithium-ion batteries will ensure a good vaping experience. The best brands in the vaping industry are delivering high-tech products that are addressing all of the risks. But it’s up to Vapers to carefully read the user manuals associated with these devices and follow the recommended battery safety instructions.