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There is wide media reporting questioning the safety of electronic cigarette batteries and while you may have seen some stories in the media about exploding e-cigarette batteries, good quality batteries from reputable suppliers combined with the sensible handling of batteries and correct precautions will lead to safe vaping.

Why do some e-cigarette batteries explode?

If treated incorrectly, lithium batteries can become very hot, vent off gas, and react with a process that is called ‘thermal runaway’. It’s important to note that reputable manufacturers add three layers of protection to Li-ion batteries to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

For those interested in more detail…

Thermal runaway occurs when the separator sheet that keeps the positive and negative electrodes apart gets broken as a result of the battery being dropped or damaged. When the electrodes touch, the battery heats up very quickly causing the electrolyte solution within it to vent. The heat itself or a nearby spark can then ignite the venting fluid resulting in a fire. This process is avoided by limiting the amount of active material, including safety mechanisms in the battery cell itself, and adding an electronic protection in the battery pack. There, we saved you from having to Google it.

How are e-cigarette batteries made safe for use?

It is important to always buy from a reputable supplier like Liberty Flights who have taken the above precautions. At Liberty Flights we can verify all our batteries come with the following documentation:

CE Certificate of Conformity, including the detailed test report. Restriction of the use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS)  Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) certificate, under Directive (2011/65/EU) and the supporting test report. Other reports (e.g. IEC62133, UN38:3), transportation reports and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are also required and checked.

What can vapers do to protect their e-cig batteries from damage?

We always recommend storing and transporting loose batteries separated from one another, in non-conductive (e.g. plastic) containers. Never store batteries where they can come into contact with metal items such as loose change or keys as these can cause a short circuit.

Some helpful battery safety tips 

  • Follow the manufacturer’s device specific instructions for charging.
  • Always use the charger provided with the device. Incorrect or incompatible chargers can result in e-cig battery damage and failure.
  • Always charge batteries on a hard, flat surface, not on soft furnishings or carpet or near flammable materials.
  • Never leave a charging battery unattended or overnight.
  • Once your battery is fully charged, remove it from the charger and unplug the charger from the power socket/source.
  • Do not over-tighten any screwed connections to rechargeable batteries as this can result in mechanical damage.
  • Never use batteries where there is visible damage to the battery, its terminals, insulation or case. Replace it instead.
  • Do not use batteries that have stopped functioning or charging normally.
  • Do not store or use batteries in extremes of temperature, either high or low.
  • Do not submerge batteries in water.
  • Dispose of and recycle batteries in accordance with your country’s appropriate legislation.

Lucy Robins

Liberty Flights, E-cigarette, Chief Scientific Officer

References

http://www.ivva.ie/latest-news/battery-safety-2/ http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/lithium_ion_safety_concerns