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Can Vaping Devices Explode or Catch Fire? Warning Signs to Look Out For

Elara Trent

Written by: Elara Trent

Updated on February 3, 2024

Can Vaping Devices Explode or Catch Fire – Warning Signs to Look Out For.jpg

Buying your new vape device can be exciting because you can carry it anywhere. However, every vape enthusiast has asked this question at least once in their lives: can vapes explode?

The straightforward answer to your query is yes – vapes do explode! Vaping is surely a fun activity, and for those seeking a safer, tar-free, and cost-effective alternative to tobacco cigarettes, vapes can be a lifesaver. Yet, while you’re at it, you must ensure that you and the people around you are safe from a potential vape injury caused by an explosion.

Continue reading this article to find out how to know if your vape is going to explode, how you can prevent it, and what you can do in an incident of vape explosion. Let’s dive in!

Vape Explosions – What Do Statistics Show?

Vape explosions pose a significant risk, particularly for young males aged 20 to 29, who accounted for 90% of the cases in a study. In another study, the median age of patients affected was 36, with a staggering 98.2% being male.

Exploding Vapes Are Usually a Result of Improper Handling

65% of incidents occurred when e-cigarettes were stored in pockets, highlighting the importance of safe storage practices. Despite these incidents, 38% continued to use e-cigarettes, and 42% admitted to manually modifying their devices, possibly exacerbating the risk of explosions.

Body Parts Commonly Affected by Vape Explosions

Common injury sites included the thigh, hand, genitals, and face, with second-degree burns affecting 35% of patients and a combination of second and third-degree burns in 20% of cases.

Groin injuries were predominant among men, followed by hand and face injuries.

Treatment – Skin Graft Transplantation

Treatment often involved debridement and skin grafting, with 61% of patients undergoing skin graft transplantation. Wound infections were observed in 39% of cases, with burn depth identified as a significant risk factor. 91% of patients reported satisfaction with treatment.

These statistics underscore the need for heightened awareness of safety precautions among vape users and regulatory measures to address device modifications. Preventive measures, such as proper battery handling and storage, alongside public education campaigns, are imperative to mitigate the risk of vape-related injuries.

7 Primary Culprits Behind Exploding Vapes – Explained

To ensure that your vaping experience is always a positive one, let’s discuss the seven main reasons vapes explode.

1. Battery Overheating/Malfunction

One of the most common causes of exploding vapes is battery overheating or malfunction. Vape batteries, typically lithium-ion batteries, can overheat if subjected to excessive stress or damage.

This can occur due to factors such as overcharging, exposure to high temperatures, or physical damage to the battery casing. When a battery overheats, it can rupture or explode, leading to potentially dangerous situations for the user.

2. Poor Battery Quality

Low-quality or counterfeit batteries are another significant risk factor for exploding vapes. Inferior batteries may not have proper safety features or quality control measures, increasing the likelihood of malfunction or overheating.

Plus, using batteries with a low coil resistance in high-powered vaping devices can put extra strain on the battery, increasing the risk of failure. Therefore, if you’re buying loose lithium batteries, ensure that you invest in reputable brands to minimize this risk.

3. Incorrect or Overcharging

Overcharging is a common mistake that can lead to battery failure and, in extreme cases, explosions. When a battery is overcharged, it can exceed its safe voltage limits, causing it to overheat and potentially catch fire or explode.

Similarly, using the wrong charger or charging ports that deliver too much power can also damage the battery and increase the risk of explosion. Following vape manufacturer recommendations for charging and using reputable charging devices can help mitigate this risk.

4. Improper Handling and Storage

How vapes are handled and stored can also contribute to the risk of explosions. Dropping or mishandling a vape device can damage the battery, leading to potential malfunctions. Plus, storing vapes in hot environments, such as a car on a sunny day, can increase the likelihood of battery overheating.

If you often carry loose batteries, ensure that you have a proper protective case and avoid extreme temperatures to reduce the risk of accidents.

5. DIY Repairs & Unnecessary Customization

Attempting DIY repairs or making unnecessary customizations to vape devices can compromise their safety. Modifying the internal components or circuitry of a vape can disrupt its normal functioning and increase the risk of malfunctions or explosions.

Similarly, using homemade coils, making flavors that your mechanical mods can’t support, or modifying battery configurations can pose significant safety hazards. Vapers should refrain from attempting repairs or modifications unless they have the necessary expertise and knowledge to do so safely.

6. Counterfeit or Mislabeled Products

The proliferation of counterfeit vaping products poses a significant risk to consumers. A fake vape device may not meet safety standards (such as short circuit protection) or quality control measures, making it more prone to malfunctions or explosions.

Plus, mislabeled batteries or vapes may not accurately represent their specifications, leading users to unknowingly misuse them. It’s essential for consumers to purchase vaping products from reputable sources and verify their authenticity to minimize this risk.

7. Improper Use of Vaping Devices

Finally, improper use of vapes can also contribute to the risk of explosions. This includes activities such as using incompatible batteries or chargers, exceeding the recommended wattage or voltage limits, or ignoring safety warnings and guidelines provided by manufacturers.

Vapers should always familiarize themselves with the proper use and maintenance of their devices to minimize the risk of accidents.

Can Vapes Set Things on Fire?

Yes, vapes can potentially set things on fire under certain circumstances. The primary concern is the heat generated by the vaping device, especially if it comes into contact with flammable materials. Here are some scenarios where vapes could pose a fire risk:

  • Accidental Ignition: If a vape device is accidentally activated while in a pocket, purse, or other confined space with flammable materials such as paper or fabric, it could potentially ignite those materials.
  • Improper Storage: Storing a vape device near flammable materials or in an environment where it is exposed to heat sources or open flames increases the risk of fire. For example, leaving a vape near a lit candle or in a car on a hot day could pose a fire hazard.
  • Battery Malfunctions: As mentioned earlier, Lithium-ion batteries used in vape devices can malfunction and cause fires. For example, if you leave your vape devices in water, it can cause a fire. If a battery overheats or short circuits, it can ignite nearby flammable materials.
  • Modifications: Your attempts at modifying a vape device, such as installing aftermarket parts or altering its design, can compromise its safety features and increase the risk of fire.

Warning Signs Before Vape Explosion and Tips to Avoid Them

They say Rome wasn’t built overnight. Similarly, it is rare that your fully functional vape suddenly blows up one day. If you’re vigilant enough, you’ll spot some signs and will be able to prevent this incident from happening.

In most cases, the primary culprit behind most vape explosions is the lithium-ion battery used to power the device. When mishandled or subjected to adverse conditions, such as overheating or physical damage, these batteries can fail catastrophically, leading to explosions or fires.

Here are some warning signs to know if your vape is going to explode and tips to avoid them:

1. Overheating

When using your vape device, if you notice that it becomes unusually hot to the touch, especially around the battery compartment or near the power button, it could be a sign of underlying issues.

During charging, if the device feels excessively hot or the charger itself becomes hot, it indicates a potential problem with the battery or charging circuit.

Tip: Do not leave your vape device charging unattended for long periods, especially overnight. Remove it from the charger once it’s fully charged.

2. Battery Swelling

A swollen or bulging battery is a clear indication of internal damage. This swelling is typically caused by the buildup of gases inside the battery due to overcharging, physical damage, or manufacturing defects.

Inspect your battery regularly for any signs of swelling, particularly around the edges or near your battery’s positive and negative poles. If you notice any bulging, stop using the battery immediately and replace it with a new one.

3. Strange Odors or Sounds

If you detect unusual odors emanating from your vape device while in use, such as a sulfur-like smell or a burning odor, it could signify a malfunctioning battery.

Hissing, popping, or crackling sounds coming from the device during operation are also cause for concern and should not be ignored. These noises may indicate internal arcing or short circuits within the battery.

4. Leaking or Corrosion

Check the battery compartment and connections for any signs of leakage, corrosion, or rust formation.

Leakage can occur due to damage to the battery casing or seal, allowing electrolytes to escape and potentially causing a short circuit or chemical reaction.

Tip: Loose batteries carried carelessly can lead to leaking or corrosion. Therefore, always carry your batteries in protective enclosures.

5. Device Malfunctions

Persistent malfunctions, such as auto-firing (when the device activates without user input), intermittent power loss, or sudden shutdowns, may indicate underlying issues with the battery or electronic components.

If your device consistently behaves unpredictably or exhibits erratic behavior, it’s essential to investigate the cause and address any potential safety concerns.

Tip: Always use the charger provided by the manufacturer or a compatible charger recommended for your device.

6. Physical Damage

Inspect your vape device regularly for any visible signs of physical damage, such as dents, cracks, or punctures. Damaged battery wraps can also compromise your battery’s structural integrity, increasing the risk of a rupture or explosion during use.

Tip: Regularly inspect your device for warning signs. If you notice any issues, immediately stop using the battery and replace it with a new one from a reputable manufacturer.

7. Rapid Discharge

If your vape battery drains unusually quickly or experiences a significant decrease in performance, it could be a sign of internal damage or degradation. Rapid discharge may indicate a short circuit or other electrical issues within the battery, which can lead to overheating and potential safety hazards.

8. Excessive Heat Emission

Pay attention to the temperature of your vape device during normal operation. If it consistently emits excessive heat, even when not in use, it may indicate a problem with the battery or internal components.

Excessive heat emission can accelerate battery degradation and increase the risk of thermal runaway, where the battery undergoes uncontrolled heating and potentially explodes.

Tip: Exposure to extreme hot and cold temperatures can damage vape batteries and increase the risk of explosions. Avoid leaving your vaping device unattended in a hot car or outdoors on a freezing-cold night.

How Do I Report a Vape Battery Fire or Explosion to the FDA?

If you’ve experienced a vape battery fire or explosion, reporting it to the appropriate authorities is crucial for public safety and regulatory purposes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the regulation of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vape devices.

Here’s step-by-step guidance on how to report such incidents to the FDA:

Document the Incident: Take note of all relevant details, including the date, time, location, and any injuries or property damage incurred. Photographs or videos can also be helpful evidence.

Seek Medical Attention: If anyone involved in the incident has been injured, seek medical attention immediately. Document any injuries and medical treatment received.

Preserve Evidence: Preserve the vape device and battery involved in the incident, if possible. Do not dispose of any components until after you have reported the incident.

Contact the FDA: You can report the vape battery fire or explosion directly to the FDA through their Safety Reporting Portal. Provide as much detail as possible about the incident, including the type of device, brand, model, when and where you bought it from, any modifications you did, and any known defects or malfunctions.

Cooperate with Investigations: When the FDA or other/state regulatory bodies follow up on your report, cooperate fully with any investigations. Provide additional information or evidence as requested.

Can I Sue for Vape Explosion?

Whether or not you can sue for a vape explosion depends on various factors, including the circumstances surrounding the incident, applicable laws, and the extent of damages or injuries suffered. Here are some considerations:

Product Liability: If the vape device or battery malfunctioned due to a manufacturing defect, design defect, or inadequate warning labels, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.

Negligence: If the vape explosion resulted from the negligence of another party, such as improper maintenance or use of the device, you may be able to pursue a negligence claim. This could include actions such as using incompatible chargers or modifying the device.

Personal Injury: If the vape explosion caused injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Property Damage: If the explosion caused damage to your property, such as a fire that destroyed your home or belongings, you may be able to seek compensation for property damage.

Statute of Limitations: There is a limited time frame, known as the statute of limitations, within which you must file a lawsuit after the incident occurs. This time frame varies by jurisdiction, so it’s essential to act promptly.

Note: You should consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in product liability or personal injury law before pursuing any legal actions. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Bottom Line

Vape explosions are a real and significant danger that can cause severe injuries and even death. However, by taking proper safety precautions and avoiding the primary culprits behind exploding vapes, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

Remember to always handle and store your vape devices safely, use reputable batteries and chargers, and avoid making unnecessary modifications to your devices. If you’re on the lookout for vape products that ensure your safety, visit our website today.

We offer a wide range of reliable and high-quality vape devices that will help you enjoy your vaping experience safely. Stay safe, and happy vaping!

Elara Trent
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