Despite being marketed as safer for consumers than traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaporizer kits powered by batteries can fail and explode or catch fire. Manufacturers and distributors have made some of the following recommendations to avoid a battery explosion:
- Do not leave the battery unattended while charging it
- Do not overcharge the battery
- Do not allow prolonged undercharged states
- Test and replace batteries that have low resting voltage using a multimeter
- Test and replace coils and atomizers regularly
- Test mechanical mod devices for power draw
- Test charging devices to ensure they are compatible with the battery
- Do not short circuit the battery within the device
- Do not let batteries touch each other or other metal surfaces
- Do not mix-and-match chargers and e-cigarette devices
- Calculate the batteries’ capacity in milli-Ampere-hours (“mAh”)
- Calculate the maximum discharge rate in Coulombs (the “C-rate”)
- Calculate the discharge rate of the mechanical mod
- Ensure the tested discharge rate is lower than the battery maximum discharge rate
If this list seems unreasonable for the average consumer to manage, you have just learned why e-cig vaporizers are so dangerous! Most consumers are not engineers. Manufacturers of consumer products have engineers in their factories who are supposed to make these kinds of calculations to ensure a device is safe enough for the average consumer. Yet any error in the above list of steps, or other failures including poorly designed components, can result in a battery fire or explosion.
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