The highest trending electronic cigarette news going on right now is the video image of an ecig exploding in a New Jersey woman’s purse. Mara McInerney was shopping at a New Jersey mall when mall security cameras caught the explosion on tape. You can see a plum of black smoke suddenly emerge from the $1200 Luis Vitton purse and Miss McInereny did indeed, unfortunately, suffer some minor burns.
To be clear, it was a spare 18650 battery that exploded, not the ecig itself. The battery was not in a case and was carried loosely in the purse. That is what can cause a problem. A battery to makes contact with other metallic objects such as loose coins or car keys may be susceptible to a discharge. When inserted in a mod, a battery is controlled by the technology of the device. When simply discharging, a battery has no limit or control to the discharge and a thermal runaway, battery explosion, can result.
Cheap low quality 18650 batteries are more prone to these issues as well. And believe me, there are a lot of cheaply made, low quality 18650s on the market. Let’s take a look at the tape of the incident and the report from local TV.
Thankfully, the incident happened in a mall. It could have been much worse if Miss McInerney’s daughter had been present and potentially in danger or it could have been worse if it had occurred while driving. The bottom line is that this is an unfortunate incident and brings our attention to the fact that we have to be careful when it comes to choosing a vaping device. You also have to be careful about how you store your batteries.
How To Avoid Ecig Battery Explosions
There are two main things that you can do to guard against a similar incident happening to you. Number one is to buy your vape products from reputable vendors that sell authentic vaping gear. The market is full of clones. Let’s walk through what happens. Let’s pick a random ecig manufacturer, a good one. How about Kangertech. Okay, good. Kanger launches a mod like the KBox. Well, 400 factories in China see the KBox and make one that looks exactly like it box and all.
The problem is that the counterfeit KBox has low quality components and connections and the software is not Kanger quality. This counterfeit, cloned ecig is a safety issue. But the fake company is able to sell a lot of them by sending mass emails to people offering incredibly low wholesale costs. Those people then sell the fakes in shops or online through sites like eBay. They will sell for half the price of an authentic Kanger mod. That explains why there are so many fakes out there.
The clone issue is so rampant that all of the leading manufacturers issue an authenticity code with each product. You can go to company websites to verfiy that your product is the real deal. But, if you have bought from eBay or some random online ad, even when you find out you have a fake there is not a lot you can do about it at that point. Companies like Direct Vapor sell authentic products. They also offer a low price guarantee for authentic product.
One rule of thumb that applies to life and vaping products is the old adage that if it seems to good to be true it probably is. Stick with reputable sources for your vaping products and buy authentic.
As many counterfeit vape manufacturers and sellers are out there there are also some companies offering cheap, low quality ecig batteries. Keep in mind the old adage once again, if a price seems to good to be true it probably is. It is easy to make cheap lithium ion batteries. Instead of buying high grade lithium metal for batteries, companies can use cheaper low grade lithium that may contain impurities that affect battery safety. Get good quality batteries from the same companies that sell authentic vape gear.
The other thing that we need to be doing is to be careful about how we store our extra vape batteries. This is a big one. A lot of the recent cases of ecig batteries exploding have been the result of batteries loosely carried in pockets or purses. Batteries can interact with other metallic objects and discharge uncontrollably. This is a rare occurrence but it has happened.
The case in New Jersey and many other incidents could have been prevented with the use of a battery case. A battery case is a plastic container that stores your batteries and prevents your battery from interacting with other metallic objects. It is a simple plastic case that costs less than $2 and can make all the difference.
Mt Baker Vapor has battery cases for less that $2. Got to the Mt Baker website and search “battery”. You will see a number of quality batteries and battery cases for a variety of popular vape batteries including 18650s. A battery case for 18650 batteries from Mt Baker costs $1.49. This small thing can make a big difference for vaping safety.