Using Vape Batteries Safely: Advice From the Experts

The standard 18650 battery is one of the most popular cells for removable-battery devices such as flashlights and vape mods. It provides excellent energy density relative to its size, and since several battery makers produce 18650 cells, the price per cell is usually reasonable. The 18650 cell even looks a bit like a AA battery. In terms of energy storage, though, 18650 batteries and AA batteries are worlds apart. Some people discover that fact in an extremely unpleasant way when their vaping batteries catch fire or even explode. 

Lithium-ion batteries are very powerful, and if they short circuit or overheat, they can also be extremely flammable. We don’t want to overstate the risk here; the risk of using lithium-ion batteries is nothing like the risk of smoking. Cigarettes cause more than 18,000 home fires per year, and those fires kill nearly 600 people and injure more than 1,100 others yearly. Using a vaping battery from a company like will always be orders of magnitude safer than lighting a cigarette on fire 20 times a day. Like any other electronic device, though, you need to use a vaping battery correctly to ensure that level of safety. Follow these five instructions every time you handle vape batteries.

Charge Vape Batteries Only With Approved Equipment

Most vaping devices can charge via USB. Some cigarette-shaped “cigalikes” include their own proprietary USB charging cables, while other vaping devices – like most mods – include standard USB cables. The one thing that you won’t find with most vaping devices, though, is a USB wall adapter. Because of that fact, you might be tempted to charge a vaping device or battery with the same wall adapter that you use to charge your smartphone or tablet. You shouldn’t do that, though, because mobile devices use high-amperage currents for quick charging. Apple advertises that the current iPhone, for example, reaches a 50-percent battery charge in just 30 minutes. That’s possible because Apple has confirmed the battery’s ability to withstand the added heat and stress of fast charging. 

Your vape batteries aren’t designed for fast charging; they’re designed to handle a charging current that conforms to standard USB specifications. If you have a mod that charges via a USB cable – and the device doesn’t include a wall adapter – that means the manufacturer assumes you’ll charge the device with your computer. 

If your device has removable batteries, you can charge the batteries in a standalone charger if you like. Make sure that the charger is compatible with the battery type and chemistry.

Don’t Carry Bare Vape Batteries in Your Pocket

You’ve been using disposable alkaline batteries your whole life, and you’ve probably carried those batteries in your pocket a few times. You can never do that with lithium-ion batteries because a short circuit can occur if a metal object touches a battery’s positive and negative terminals simultaneously. That can happen if a battery touches loose change, your car keys or another battery. When a short circuit occurs, a battery releases all of its stored energy instantly, and that can result in a fire or explosion. Lithium-ion batteries can and do happen in pockets. Always transport vape batteries in a protective carrier and outside your pocket.

Don’t Leave Vape Batteries in Your Car

A car becomes a greenhouse when it’s parked outdoors in the sun. When the temperature outside is 80-100 degrees, the temperature inside a parked car can exceed 170 degrees in as little as an hour. That isn’t just a dangerous temperature range for humans; it’s also terrible for batteries. Imagine what might happen if you took a lithium-ion battery heated to 170 degrees, put that battery in your vaping device and began using it. The battery – if you could actually touch it without burning your hand – would become even hotter and potentially enter the “thermal runaway” stage at which its internal chemical reactions become impossible to control. Once a battery enters thermal runaway, nothing can stop the fire. People have lost their cars due to improper handling of vape batteries. Don’t ever leave vape batteries – or batteries of any type – in your car.

Don’t Use Mechanical Mods

Most vape mods have internal electronics that perform a variety of functions, and the most important of those functions is ensuring your safety. A regulated vape mod monitors for conditions such as overheating, unsafe currents and short circuits. If the mod detects a condition that would make it dangerous for you to vape, it shuts down and displays a message to alert you. The safety features of a regulated mod provide an extra layer of protection that helps to keep you safe even if you accidentally use the device in an incorrect way.

Some vaping devices have no safety features. Those devices are called mechanical mods. A mechanical mod is little more than a battery, an atomizer coil and a button. It has no internal electronics. When you press the button, the battery sends its power to the atomizer coil. It does that even if the current is unsafe or if a short circuit exists. A mechanical mod has no safety features. If you use one, you need to look out for your own safety. Apart from the fact that they’re inexpensive and easy to fix, mechanical mods provide no benefit compared to regulated mods. There is no reason to use a mechanical mod in 2019.

Test Resistance When Building Vape Coils

Do you use a rebuildable atomizer and build your own vape coils? Have you ever built a coil that caused your vaping device to display a message such as “Atomizer Short?” When that happens, it’s because there is a problem with your atomizer coil such as a lead that isn’t fully tightened or a wire that’s touching the atomizer’s drip well. Your device’s ability to detect a short circuit is just one of the many features that helps you vape safely. It’s even better, though, if your vaping device isn’t the only thing ensuring that your coils are safe to use. Buy a separate resistance meter. They’re very easy to use. You simply connect your RDA to the resistance meter and either flip a switch or press a button to test the coil’s resistance. With a resistance meter, you can ensure that your coils are safe to use before you connect them to your mod.


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