Exploding vapes has been a hot topic for a while now. There is a lot going on about this topic, but it is crucial that you know all the facts and why it happens, not just believing what you see. Electronic cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, e-cigs, or vapes, all are the same thing under a different name. These are consumer products that are a new option for replacing traditional smoking options.
The devices are vaporizers that are operated by batteries. When you are using a vape or e-cigarette, it is typically called “vaping.” The product used in electronic cigarettes is vaporized by the electronic cigarette and is not tobacco but contains nicotine. There are also options on the market that do not contain any nicotine. These products are often marketed as a smoking cessation device or claiming to be a more healthy alternative versus smoking a traditional cigarette.
A lot of reports in the news have surfaced that indicated designs of these vape devices, not limited to the mechanical mod devices, have been involved in instances where batteries have caught fire or even exploded in some cases. Because of these devices being personal devices that are typically on your person, there is a possibility of serious personal injuries, if the explosion happens while being used.
These products are sold to consumers with the intention of them being able to be modified. This type of electronic cigarette is known as a mech mod or mech mod vape. The word mod is used to the many various ways that it can be modified in being a vape. They are able to be taken apart, changed, have individual components removed or replaced in order to alter the original vape.
Explosions with Electronic Cigarette Batteries
Just like any other battery, a battery for an electronic cigarette or mod vape battery has limitations on what temperature it is able to handle and what power can be drawn safely from the device itself. When a device is constructed in an improper manner, it is more likely to fail, or if it is designed in a way that can make these failures to eventually become more likely.
More often than not, the batteries for electronic cigarettes are lithium-ion batteries, or Li-On batteries, which can catch fire or explode if used in a way that was not intended to be used. Internal failure for batteries will doom a battery even if it is used correctly. More often than not, these products do not pair batteries and chargers, which leaves charges and batteries to be combined in aftermarket settings.
If a battery is to overheat, whether it is inside the vape or electronic cigarette device or on a charging device, it is able to create a chain reaction that can lead to leakage of a liquid that is superheated, explosion, or ignition. This, of course, can cause severe damage to a person or possessions, which is why safety is key when using these devices.
Although they have been marketed for being a safer option for consumers in comparison to a traditional cigarette, electronic cigarettes and kits for vaporizers that are battery powered have had issues where they have failed and exploded or caught fire.
Below is a list that has been provided by the distributors and manufacturers directly with recommendations that will help consumers to avoid issues with batteries exploding:
- Do not allow your battery to overcharge.
- Do not leave any batteries unattended when they are charging.
- Do not allow for there to be any prolonged periods of undercharged status.
- Replace and test batteries regularly that has a voltage that is low resting by using a multimeter.
- Replace and test your coils and atomizers regularly.
- Be sure to test mechanical mod devices to check the power draw.
- Test the charging device you are using and ensure it is compatible with the batteries being charged.
- Avoid short-circuiting the batteries while they are inside the device.
- Avoid letting your batteries touch each other or touch other surfaces that are metal.
- Avoid mixing and matching your electronic cigarette devices and chargers.
- Determine the capacity for the batteries with milli-Ampere-hours, also called mAh.
- Determine the maximum discharge rate, or the C-rate, using Coulombs.
- Determine the discharge rate for the mechanical mod.
- Be sure that the discharge rate that is tested is lower than the rate for the maximum discharge.
If this seems like it is unreasonable to expect for a typical consumer, then you now understand what can make these devices so dangerous. The devices are created by engineers, but these engineers are supposed to develop the products in a way that makes them safe to use for the average consumers. However, if errors are made either in the manufacturing process or by consumers not following instructions, a battery fire or explosion can occur.
FDA & U.S. Fire Administration Thoughts
There was a report released by the U.S. Fire Administration as well as FEMA that related to electronic cigarettes and explosions as well as fires. In the report, the U.S. Fire Administration admitted that the accidents pertaining to electronic cigarettes causing explosions are actually pretty rare.
The problem is that the market is growing and it provides opportunities for more vapes that offer modifications that the average consumer may not be capable to perform, but thinks that they can. This will lead to more incidents, along with the growing number of cloned products that are not as safe as the products themselves.
There are new regulations that have been proposed by the FDA, or the U.S. Food Administration, which will help to make sure that these types of products are designed more with consumer safety in mind. With the FDA stepping in there is a timetable in place for the manufacturers to get their products approved which will assist in removing products that could be dangerous to consumers.
How Common are Incidents Involving Vape Explosions?
The real question is, just how dangerous are electronic cigarette products? Well, the answer is complicated. To put it simply, if a person uses the product as intended, does not attempt to modify the product in a way that it should not be modified, for example, one case of a vape exploding was due to a consumer attempting to modify their mod to hold AA batteries, this is not an intelligent or safe decision.
The lead officer for product safety at Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Mark Gardiner, has said that it is common for an enthusiast to try and experiment with various batteries, e-liquids, and other things that produce a bigger and better vape, and this is what can lead to explosions in vapes. This is not saying that products that are not modified cannot fail, as with any product, there are possibilities of failure due to manufacturing issues and more.
Most issues relating to vape explosions and fires, however, can be pinpointed to using an improper charger, charging a battery too much, or improper storage, according to most fire service reports. It is not the electronic cigarettes that are unsafe on their own, stated West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service’s station commander, Gary Asquith, he says that it is mainly the misuse of the batteries that the products use that are the real problem.
One incident where a vape exploded in a man’s pocket was actually due to his carrying the vape batteries in his pocket without a case, and it made contact with his metal keys and a coin. It is important that if you are carrying vape batteries that you keep them in a protected case. Buying a cheap charger can also cause issues for a vape as it can cause you to overcharge your batteries by mistake.
The health experts have said on multiple occasions that electronic cigarettes are at the least 95 percent less harmful to a person’s body than traditional smoking is and it has assisted many people in being able to give up their habit completely.
Many hospital staff have said that two or fewer cases come in a year for electronic cigarette cases. It is mainly only minor injuries, such as small burns when they do.
There may not be an issue of vapes exploding in the future. There are new formulas coming out and in development that will replace the liquid electrolyte that is flammable inside the lithium batteries with an electrolyte that is stable as well as solid and made from glass. There is another design in the works by researchers that will be resistant to fire in between the negative and positive poles for the battery.
E-cig Battery Lawsuit
At Arash Law, we will handle your lawsuit regarding electronic cigarette battery explosions. Just as you have seen by reading above, the lithium-ion batteries in electronic cigarettes have been known to explode, or even catch fire. There are at least 134 cases that were reported to the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, but there are thousands that have gone without being reported. There is a product liability law in California that is there to protect the consumers from products that are faulty and will provide the means legally for a person to pursue a responsible party for injuries that are caused by a faulty electronic cigarette.
If you have dealt with an explosion that has caused a loved one or yourself an injury, then you may be able to be compensated for property damage, pain and suffering, and your injuries. Here at Arash Law, we will go after the distributor, retailer, manufacturer, and any other entity responsible in order to pursue your financial recovery. Call our expert California vape explosion attorneys now at (888) 488-1391