The article begins by explaining how the woman was using a USB charger with her e-cigarette, which from the pictures, looked like a “fat batt” or larger e-cigarette battery, designed for longer use time. She said she was charging it when she heard a “kaboom” and saw 4ft flames shooting across her living room. It’s unfortunate that this happened but the comment from the store owner is what had me worried: “…it’s a low voltage [battery] so I’m surprised that anything like that would happen.” Well, low voltage doesn’t mean the battery is safer in any way so I thought this comment was ridiculous. Because of his comment, I was also thinking about the USB charger he sold this woman. Some e-cig manufacturers make “rapid chargers” or chargers designed to quickly recharge a battery. With proper use, they will pose no harm to the user but left unattended for too long, that battery will cause problems. My thought is that a USB rapid charger was used with this fat batt and the store owner didn’t warn the user of the dangers of prolonged or unattended charging.
This leads me to my point on the safety of e-cigarette batteries or any battery for that matter. It’s not that e-cigarettes aren’t safe; trust me, I’ve been using several different types for over two years. It’s that a lot of people think that if they pick up an e-cig, it’s instantly like smoking a cigarette and all worry is thrown to the wind. NO! It’s an electronic device just like your phone. If you were to rapidly charge your phone battery, I guarantee you you’d see a similar result. The point for anyone using an e-cig or selling e-cigs is, KNOW YOUR PRODUCT. This event was avoidable. If the store owner took the time to learn about his chargers and batteries, and took the time to explain safety tips to his customers, I know this wouldn’t be a story. It’s sad that e-cigs are getting bad press from the negligence of one person.
Here are some tips on proper e-cig care and safety:
- Never leave a charging battery unattended.
- If a battery is hot to the touch, don’t vape it!
- To avoid shorting out your battery or charger, wipe the threads of the battery to avoid any juice making contact with the charger.
- Clean your batteries and chargers often! Cleaning will ensure the battery and charger make a solid connection, every time.