Taking Another Look At Battery Safety
Recently, there’s been a string of stories that have made the rounds at local and national news outlets that detail an accidental explosion of a vape mod as the result of its' 18650 batteries getting too hot. This brings us back to a familiar story that we’ve addressed before at Breazy: battery safety.
These types of stories are not new, they pop up every couple months, follow a similar pattern of consequences - head injuries, facial scarring, houses catching fire - and have been around for as long as vapor has existed. The good news for careful and safety-conscious vapers are that most of these horrifying stories of personal injury or, in extreme cases, death, could have been prevented if the victims had taken a few simple safety precautions.
Battery safety should be one of the highest priorities for a vaper. Vapor products, especially advanced box mods, consume a lot of electricity, which is why batteries require at least as much care as the sealed cells in your phone or computer. Technology, with all its advantages, still needs to be taken care of and maintained, so here are a few tips to take care of perhaps the most important part of your rig.
1.Use the correct batteries. It may seem to be obvious, but over the years we’ve had inquiries from people who want to use AA alkaline because it kind of looks like the same size as 18650s, or to put button-top 18650s into a mod. However, these are terrible ideas and can lead to serious injuries. Make sure that whatever rig you’re using, you know which batteries are required and that you’re using the correct ones.
2.Don’t be fooled by counterfeit 18650s. In order to use vapor products safely, you need a cell with a continuous discharge rating of 20 amps or higher to generate 75 watts of power, and two of those will get you 150 watts, etc. At most 18650s will offer 30 amps. If a battery claims to offer more than that, it’s a fake. Additionally, there are only 3 manufacturers that are suitable: LG, Samsung, and Sony. If a battery claims to be made by another manufacturer it’s probably a fake.
3.Charge properly. Charging batteries requires care because, just like using a vapor product, it generates heat. The more you charge it, the more heat is generated. Remember when iPhones or Samsung Androids were charging for too long and exploding? So too, can batteries if they’re not charged properly. Use a high-quality charger suitable for lithium-ion cells - popular brands include Nitecore, Xtar, and Efest (even though Efest cells aren't recommended for vape use).
4.Store safely. Never leave your batteries laying around. If a loose battery comes into contact with other metal like the change or keys in your pocket or purse, it’ll keep generating heat as quickly as possible until it catches fire or explodes. Batteries have plastic and silicone cases designed for your batteries and there’s no excuse for why they should be just lying around. This has been the number one reason that we see seemingly unexplained explosions related to vapor products, batteries have been carried in pockets and rubbed against metal and discharged when they weren’t supposed, generating enough heat to go into thermal runaway (this is a bad thing and ends with an explosion of flaming acid).
5.Respect your cell’s limits. WIth most vapor products these days, especially mods, the equipment will tell you if your batteries are drained and need to be changed, or if they’re charged fully to capacity and need to be unplugged from the charger. By following instructions and respecting your equipment, it’s best to just listen to it.
By following these tips, you should be no more at risk of your batteries or vapor products exploding than any other electrical device. Remain safe, and if you don’t want to be the subject of an embarrassing and potentially disastrous story please take care of your batteries.