Battery Safety - How To Safely Carry Around Batteries and Vape Equipment
If you pay any attention at all to the local news, chances are at some point in the last few years you've heard a variant on the "E-cig sets local man's crotch ablaze, more at 6 and 11" story.
Yikes! Are these vaporizer things dangerous? Am I at risk by carrying my vape around?
Well, it's possible – but there's absolutely no reason you should be. Let's talk a bit about battery safety and how to ensure you're not going to nominate yourself come the next Darwin Awards.
The most obvious, and thus most easily-avoided danger is carrying unprotected spare batteries in your pocket or purse. A battery is a very simple device – apply contact to both the positive and negative poles and it begins to deliver power, which causes heat to build internally within the cell. Any kind of metal – loose change, your car keys, anything – can cause the battery to begin to discharge. Allow it to discharge long enough, and it'll build up enough internal heat that it will either vent toxic chemicals, catch fire, or explode.
The vast majority of "exploding e-cig" stories you'll see these days aren't even related to a vaping device. Instead, they're loose batteries being carried in a pocket or (less likely, we've got to admit at this point the ladies are being a little smarter or luckier than the guys) a purse. This is incredibly easy to avoid – all sorts of safe methods of carrying spare cells exist, from plastic snap-locking cases to silicone sleeves that cover the contact points – and they're ridiculously cheap! What's worth more, your safety or 1-2 dollars?
NEVER carry loose batteries with you, even if there's nothing else in your pocket the chance exists you might forget the battery and drop in a few loose coins or something else.
Another big risk is mechanical mods, especially those with "hybrid" connectors (a hole in the top threads that allows your atomizer or tank to contact the battery directly) and without locking features that allow you to unscrew a block to prevent the mod from accidentally firing. To stay safe don't carry a loaded mechanical mod in your pocket, and if you insist on doing so NEVER do it with one without a firing button lock – a recessed, unlockable button could end up depressed without your knowledge until it's too late (read: your pants are on fire).
Of lesser (but not non-existent) concern is regulated mods that are pocket-or-purse carried with batteries inside. Now, to be 100 percent safe we'd have to advise you to remove cells from your mod when it's not in use and store them in a secure plastic bin. We also realize this isn't likely to happen, so we'll remind users that nearly every regulated mod on the market today has a five-click on/off function, and that even though most will have a safety cutoff of 5-15 seconds, it's never a good idea to put a mod away without spending the 2-3 seconds it takes to power your device down.
While no electronic device is 100% failsafe (remember that hundreds, if not thousands of mobile phones explode without warning every year), by following these simple tips you'll be able to lower your risk rate dramatically – but if you're ever in doubt about the safety of a battery or vape mod, remember that your life is worth much more than the few dollars it costs to replace your cell or device in the event it ever begins functioning abnormally.