When it comes to any type of electronic device, there is always a risk of fires and explosions. This is really basic science: electricity creates heat and heat creates fire. This is why electronics always come with user manuals and a list of warnings. Luckily, manufactured electronics are usually carefully developed to reduce such risks and are run through safety tests before being put on the market.
The same goes for electronic cigarettes; however, certain vaping devices allow for a high level of customization and, all but too often, inexperienced users are customizing their devices to deliver more power and more vapor without any knowledge in electrical engineering or how batteries work. These customizable vaping devices are known as “Mods” or Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs) and are almost always powered by the more dangerous lithium-ion batteries.
If you are using a lithium-ion powered device, there is no need to panic; however, you do need to do your due diligence to ensure that you are using your e-cigarette in a safe manner.
Select the right battery. If you are using an e-cigarette that does not have a built-in battery, you will be required to buy your own. Do some research to make sure you get the right one. Do you know what battery ratings are? Do you understand milliamp hours or the difference between an ICR or IMR battery? No? Well then you got some work to do. Fear not though: there are ample resources online and you can always walk into a vape shop for some direction.
Invest in a good charger. Your charger is no place to cut corners and investing in a smart charger is a great idea. A smart charger typically offers more safety features than a standard charger. Many lithium-ion battery failures are due to either overcharging or discharging, and a smart charger is a great defense against improperly charged batteries.
Don’t mix chargers. While many newer style chargers are interchangeable due to their USB connections, they should still only be used to charge the specific devices they are intended for. Just because your e-cig charger fits into your smartphone’s AC adaptor doesn’t mean you should use it. There is a reason why electronics come with their own chargers: each charger is designed to deliver a certain level of electrical current. If the battery being charged is not capable of handling the level of current produced by the charger, this increases the risk of explosion, so it’s best to play it safe and only use chargers that are supplied with your vaping device or those recommended by the device manufacturer.
Properly store your batteries. External forces can create a potentially dangerous situation for your batteries. Extreme temperatures are the enemy of lithium-ion batteries and should be avoided at all costs.
Properly transport your batteries. As a vaper, you’ll probably want to carry extra batteries with you: Be sure to only carry them in a proper battery case. Loose batteries create a potential hazard. If your batteries come in contact with keys or any other bits of metal, it could complete a circuit between the positive and negative ends resulting in a possible catastrophic failure or explosion.
Never use damaged batteries. If your battery appears damaged or if the wrapper around the battery is frayed or faulty, immediately discontinue use and properly recycle the battery.