The lithium-ion battery is an amazing thing. Lithium-ion batteries store considerable power in small packages to give us computers and phones that run all day without power outlets, electric vehicles that drive for hundreds of miles and sub-ohm vaping devices that generate enormous vapor clouds. With great power, though, comes one significant drawback: Lithium-ion batteries are potentially very dangerous. The 18650 batteries in your e-cigarette aren’t AA batteries. If you treat your e-cigarette batteries improperly, they can catch fire or explode. E-cigarette battery explosions are incredibly rare, but they do happen – and it’s important to be mindful of safety at every moment while you vape.

E-cigarette battery safety is crucial – but you’re a vaper, not an electrician. Never fear! In this brief guide, we’re going to hit the high points and discuss the essentials that you absolutely must know for safe vaping.

Know Your Batteries

Did you know that most battery sellers don’t actually make the batteries that they sell? Instead, they buy batteries from major manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung and resell them. What’s even worse is that many battery sellers exaggerate the capabilities of their products. If you vape with extremely low-resistance coils, you need to know that your batteries can keep up with your coils’ demands. Use an Ohm’s Law calculator to determine the discharge rate of a coil in amps. If you want to know whether a battery seller is exaggerating the capabilities of its products, read the posts of e-cigarette-forum user Mooch. Mooch has used his extensive collection of scientific equipment to analyze hundreds of vaping batteries, and you’ll find his data quite enlightening.

Inspect for Damage

Does your vaping device have a tight battery compartment that’s difficult to use? Have you dropped your mod a few times? Inspect the wrappers of your batteries for signs of damage. The side of a battery is conductive, and a torn wrapper could lead to a short circuit if your vaping device has a metal battery compartment. Learning how to re-wrap your batteries can help you save money over the long term. If you aren’t comfortable re-wrapping them, you should immediately recycle and replace batteries with visible damage.

Don’t Carry Bare Batteries in Your Pocket

Your pocket is the absolute worst place in which to store a lithium-ion battery. If you wear pants made from synthetic materials, your pockets may generate static electricity when you walk – and if you carry keys or spare change in your pocket with a loose battery, there’s a serious risk of a short circuit. E-cigarette batteries carried carelessly have started fires in pockets. Don’t let that happen to you. If you need to transport batteries, put them in a dedicated carrier that prevents the terminals from touching other metal objects.

Don’t Use a Mechanical Mod

If you have an e-cigarette with no internal electronic components, you have a mechanical mod. Mechanical mods are popular among some vapers because they’re small, inexpensive and almost indestructible. The problem with mechanical mods, though, is that a device with no electronic components has no safety features. A mechanical mod doesn’t know if you’re using a damaged battery. It doesn’t know if the resistance of the atomizer is safe for the battery you’re using. It can’t detect a short circuit. Mechanical mods are an important part of the history of vaping, but they’re a relic from a time in which people asked a lot less from their batteries than they do today. If you use a modern sub-ohm tank or rebuildable atomizer – and you enjoy blowing huge clouds – it’s time to switch to a regulated device that keeps you safe.

Charge Your Batteries Correctly

If you don’t charge your batteries correctly, there is a chance that they could overheat and catch fire. To charge your batteries safely, follow these simple rules.

  • Don’t charge batteries unattended. If a battery overheats, taking quick action can prevent the battery from causing injury or property damage.
  • If you have an e-cigarette that charges via USB, charge it only with the wall adapter that the device’s manufacturer recommends. Don’t use a mobile phone or tablet charger; a “quick charging” adapter can cause an e-cigarette battery to overheat.
  • If your e-cigarette has removable batteries, skip the USB port and charge the batteries with a high-quality external charger instead.