Battery Safety for Vaping
With sea levels on the rise, creepy clowns in the woods, and occasional pieces of space debris falling to earth, battery safety for vaping might seem like the least of our problems.
But there’s reason to be concerned about the safety of the battery inside your e-cigarette, vaping mod or vaporizer pen: Those batteries can react when damaged and/or exposed to metal, water or even to water vapor in the air, causing them to explode, inflict injury or even burn down the house.
The good news is that such incidents are very rare—rarer than a chupacabra sighting, even—and we can greatly reduce the chances of a dangerous accident by taking precautions to ensure that vaping batteries are used safely.
In general, vaping batteries themselves are as safe as the ones in your phone, laptop or electric car (how you likin’ that new Nissan LEAF? Looks fly!): Comprised of lithium ion molecules that move to the negative electrode when in use and back to the positive electrode when charging, these batteries are lightweight, long-lasting and pack a lot of power. Lithium ion batteries do not emit pollutive materials when spent like their lead acid counterparts and are considered environmentally-friendly.
They’re also harnessing the volatile chemical and molecular forces of the universe and should be handled with appropriate respect and care. If you really want to nerd out on the mechanics of it, lithium ion batteries are comprised of an anode and a cathode, which store the lithium on each end, with an electrolyte that carries ions between the two through a separator. The movement drums up free electrons in the anode and creates a charge in the positive collector, which then flows through your battery, juices it up back to the negative collector. Conversely, when the battery is charging, the lithium ions flow in the opposite direction as they are released from the cathode.
It’s possible for extreme temperatures—over 150 degrees and below freezing, according to Battery University—to disrupt the circuit of lithium ion batteries and compromise safety. Exposure to static electricity in this damaged state could make your vape battery pack go boom.
You don’t wanna mess with physics, so here are some recommendations for keeping your vape and its battery safe, functional and explosion-free:
Always purchase vaporizers and vaping batteries from a trustworthy source. Cheaply-made and/or unregulated products run a higher risk of damage, and you should always use the type of battery that came with your equipment. Not to brag, but we do happen to have a nice array of vaporizers, vape pens, vaping batteries and vaping accessories right here.
Don’t overcharge your battery. We’re not talking about adding an extra cocktail onto its bill; we mean don’t leave your battery plugged more than a few minutes longer than it takes to register a full charge. Make sure you use the charger that came with your battery or source a compatible smart charger that has additional safety features. As temptingly convenient as it is to use the same USB plug for your laptop, phone, electric shaver and coffeemaker, etc., DON’T. And definitely don’t leave it plugged in overnight.
Keep your vaporizer turned off and loose batteries stored away when not in use. Again, you’ve got powerful molecular forces at work: Should a loose battery come into contact with anything metallic, like loose change, paperclips, nails, lost earrings, the tiny iron from a Monopoly game or whatever random objects might be rolling around the bottom of your pocket or purse, there is risk of completing the circuit outside the battery’s casing and causing combustion. Try a padded hard case for your equipment or a soft bag, though any dedicated storage container will do.
Don’t expose your battery to the elements: Fire, water, air and earth may be the basic building blocks of life, but they can be all terrible for your vaping battery. As mentioned, extreme hot and cold temperatures can compromise the safety sheath on the battery. Dropping it on the ground can also cause damage, allowing water, water vapor or static electricity to sneak in and short circuit the battery. In essence, treat your vape battery like you’d treat your phone—and for heaven’s sake, keep it away from the toilet.
Feel your battery overheating? Hopefully, you’ve made it a habit to monitor your vape battery and can catch any safety issues before they become a full-fledged emergency. If you feel your battery getting hot, disconnect it immediately and take it outside and/or away from anything flammable or combustible to let it fritz out. If it’s already too hot to handle, leave it attached to the vape and follow the previous instructions. Should you see flames or here popping sounds, take cover to protect from an initial explosion, then douse with an approved fire extinguisher or water until completely out.
Obviously, the minute your vaping battery begins to act afool, it’s time to replace it!