Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of E-Cig Explosions: What We Know, and How to Stay Safe

Categories: E-Fer Madness

exploding-ecig.jpg
Reddit User chrisxmassacre
Plugged into a laptop...ouch
Common sense can protect you from potentially poisonous e-cigarette juice...but what about exploding e-cigs? There have been quite a few stories popping up about vape pens shooting fire balls and setting peoples' cars and houses ablaze. A recent video shows an exploding e-cig in action at a London pub. The fireball shot out with no warning and had the bartender not moved so quickly, she could've been hurt. Yet a closer examination should ease your worries: when it comes to exploding e-cigs, common sense goes a long way here, too.

E-cigs have predominantly two different battery setups. The kind that appear as analog cigarettes, (like blu), and skinny vape pens (like Ego) have batteries that are not accessible to consumers and charge via a USB cord. The heavier-duty pens can be modified and use large, rechargeable batteries that can be taken out of the unit. Explosions happen when people overcharge either of these batteries or use chargers that are incompatible with their setup.

For one thing, when we look at all of the skinny vape pen explosions, the vapers had their battery plugged into the computer or car charger (in London, it was an iPad). Just because the pen charges via USB does NOT mean it should go into any USB outlet. The problem is that we have to buy the USB cord and power adapter separately. Even though you can buy a car adapter, charging through the wall is the safest. Car chargers and computers will continue to send a current to devices even after they're fully charged. It can cause as explosion while the pen is plugged in, or shortly after when someone vapes it.

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LP Hastings
These charge via USB

When it comes to the beefier e-cigs, things can get a little more complicated. To be fair, these crazy, moded-out e-cigs should only be used by people who understand how the technology works. Every rechargeable battery has a maximum amount of voltage it can take, but if the battery is unprotected and placed in a dock that charges to a higher voltage, the increased amps can cause it to explode. These batteries should never be charged over their peak voltage and never, ever be doubled up. It's also wise to toss the batteries (in an appropriate e-waste bin!) before their listed expiration date and refrain from charging any battery while you're away or sleeping.

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LP Hastings
For more advanced vapers

All of these little caveats and pointers are a good reason why people new to e-cigs should only shop in person at respected e-cig stores. If you go to a good shop, the people there will know the correct equipment and show you how to use it. Don't shop online until you know what you're doing and which brands to trust.There's such a huge gap in the consistency of products and warning labels.

Thankfully, compared to the number of vapers, these explosions have only occurred a handful of times.

Email: lphastings@ocweekly.com.
Be buddies with LP on Facebook or Instagram @lp_hastings.

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10 comments
Joe Tran
Joe Tran

Only stupid leave shit in the car.. The blu e cig known for blowing up... and poison e juice?? U better get ur facts right before posting shit up.. go and smoke a cigarette with harmful shit...

Robby Pinault
Robby Pinault

I've been vaping for over 2 years now. 1. Nothing is worse than cigarettes. 2. Don't buy ecigs from the guy who turned his smoke shop into a vape shop, the cheap Chinese knock offs have been known to explode while charging. Stick to genuine Joytech, Provari or other Name brand original batteries.

Don Gotti
Don Gotti

Generally speaking, common sense isn't so common.

David Tanaka
David Tanaka

"Poisonous e cig juice" WTF do you call cigarette smoke??? Vaping over cigarettes = Life vs Death!

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