If you take nothing else away from this website I will be happy, so long as you take time to read the content of this post.
The vaping community is under constant scrutiny from the media in regard to the safety of mods. Recent horror stories highlighted how extreme the danger can be when a man died as the result of a vape mod exploding.
One thing that 99% of these reports miss is that almost every injury caused through vaping is as a result of the batteries, not the mod itself.
Vape mods use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries can be found in cameras, mobile phones, and laptops. The technology that we use in our equipment is not new. The batteries that are used in mods are actually designed to be used with your everyday camera.
Basic Battery Care
The basics of making sure that your batteries are safe to you are mainly just common sense. I say “common sense” loosely because accidents can still happen. However, if you follow a few simple rules then you will minimize the risks to yourself and the vaping community.
Remember that if you hurt yourself because of poor battery care it will not only reflect/injure you. It will have a knock-on effect on everybody in the vaping community.
The media love any excuse to give vaping negative press.
Any shop selling products and batteries without taking the time to educate the person buying it is quite simply ignoring their responsibility.
Buy the right brand
With the number of people getting into vaping, there is a lot of money to be made. Many companies are selling poor and quite frankly dangerous batteries into the vaping market.
There is a lot of research conducted within the community on the safety of batteries, but, I am just looking to cover the basics in this article.
Stick to the big names like Sony, Samsung, and LG – but if you ask me Samsung 25R’s are the way to go. Stick with what has already been tried and tested, they are not expensive so there is no reason not to use them.
It is important to note that cells have different amperage ratings. You should be using the correct cell for your build. For example, lower builds need higher amperage batteries. But as I said above, Samsung 25R’s are high amperage with a decent discharge rate, making them my primary choice.
Make sure what you are buying is genuine
Along with cheap and substandard batteries flooding the market, there are also a lot of fake or imitation products being sold on sites such as eBay and Amazon.
Always buy your batteries from a trusted vendor, somebody who can prove that their batteries are what they say on the tin, not just a cheap product that has been re-wrapped to resemble a higher quality cell.
Inspect your batteries every day
Make it a ritual, every day before you use your mod check the condition of your batteries. Taking cells in and out of mods and chargers can cause little rips in the wrap and this can result in a ‘hard short’ inside your mod. This means it will complete the circuit away from the button, causing it to auto-fire.
If you notice any damage to the wrap you can replace it. Battery wraps cost next to nothing and can be the difference between a safe battery and a dangerous one.
Or, simply replace the battery. Good batteries cost less than £5 so why take the risk?
If you see any bulges or dents in the batteries, scrap them – these telltale signs can be the start of something a whole lot more serious.
Store and transport them safely
99% of injuries caused by vaping have not actually been caused by the vape itself. In fact, most injuries are the result of people carrying batteries loose in their pocket.
A battery is not a packet of cigarettes that you chuck in your pocket with your loose change and keys. What you are carrying is effectively a small pipe bomb capable of blowing a sizeable chunk out of your leg if it goes off by making contact with metal objects in your pocket.
All respectable vendors give you a plastic case free with your batteries. USE IT! If not, you may as well go back to smoking cigarettes, it would be safer.
Put them the right way up
There are 2 reasons for this. Your mod will be designed in a way that the circuit is completed in a certain way, putting the battery in the wrong way around can cause damage to the battery casing and cause stress to the battery itself this can result in the battery venting.
The second reason is for safety directly. Usually, a mod will have small holes either towards the bottom or towards the top, sometimes even underneath the RDA. These are ‘vent’ holes. If a cell was to vent inside of your mod, these act as a pressure relief system. The rule of thumb is, the positive end of the cell will go towards by the vent holes unless stated otherwise.
Use an external charger and make sure it’s decent
Not all mods allow charging while the battery is installed and many of those that can are not equipped with the safety functions found in a good external charger. As with your batteries, it is essential that you do not just go for the cheap option.
Don’t drain your batteries too low
Over-discharging your batteries can be as damaging as overcharging them. This process puts extra strain on the cell and over time will weaken the battery. As a rule swap out your batteries when you notice a decrease in the power of your device. Regulated mods will display the battery levels, try to swap it out around 15-20% for a freshly charged cell.
Know your coils
If you can not follow these simple rules, please for the sake of everyone else in the community. Do not use mechanical mods, stick to your regulated devices. Every time somebody blows up a battery or hurts themselves it knocks vaping back years of progress.
The lives that are saved by helping people quit smoking outweigh the negatives caused by stupidity and lack of care – but not the eyes of the media all they care about is the 1 out of 100,000 people who failed to take responsibility for their equipment.
There is much more to cover on this subject, however, if every single person who owned a vape at least follow these steps – then we would be heading in the right direction.