The growing popularity in e-cigarettes and vape devices has led to an increased number of injuries from those incorrectly taking care of their device, according to new research.
A government report from February 2019 stated that vaping use among in the UK is between 5.4 per cent to 6.2 per cent for all adults, and 14.9 per cent and 18.5 percent for current smokers, which means that many people are at potential risk of getting hurt.
Are e-cigarettes a hazard?
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has stated that there have been “rare incidents” of e-cigarettes or vapes exploding and seriously harming people.
As a result of this, the OPSS has released safety tips to help users avoid the risk of battery explosion or risk.
The OPSS says that users should only use the charger that was supplied with their e-cigarette or vape for charging, and that they shouldn’t charge it overnight. You should also check on your device periodically whilst it’s charging and unplug it when it’s fully charged instead of just leaving it.
Check your batteries
The OPSS says that “many lithium-ion 18650 batteries are not designed for use in vapes”, so it’s important that you double check what type of battery you need and whether the manufacturers have said its safe for vape use.
Product safety lead officer at CTSI, Mark Gardiner, said that many of these devices are powered by what’s known as a 18650-style battery.
Gardiner said, “Many 18650-style batteries are not designed for use in vapes and some manufacturers have stated that their 18650 battery design is not intended for use in the high-power handheld devices favoured by many in the vaping community.
“The designation 18650 refers to the size, but nothing else, so there may be products described in this way with different chemistries and therefore different voltages.”
Users are also advised to stop using their vape and replace the batteries if they get damaged, wet or leak.
If you’re buying a replacement charger, only buy from reputable retailers and check that it’s suitable for use with your vape.
“Look for the CE safety mark, plus details of the manufacturer,” the OPSS advises.
Users are also warned not to leave their devices (or their batteries) in direct sunlight or in your car on a freezing cold night.
These extreme temperatures can pose a problem for the devices, so it’s best to keep your vape safe from exposure.
‘Injuries can be severe’
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CSTI) partnered with OPSS to campaign for safety regarding e-cigarettes and vapes.
Chief Executive of CSTI, Leon Livermore, said, “It’s very important for everyone who vapes to take charge of their own battery safety.
“Injuries can be severe, but if a battery fails and explodes then obviously it’s an extra hazard if it’s in your mouth.”
The explosions of these types of devices in the past have led to burns, chemical burns and blast injuries to the face, hands, thigh and groin. The degree of these injuries depends on the person’s proximity to the device.
The CSTI reported, “The London Fire Brigade says that on average they attend 24 fires each week that have been started by chargers, batteries and cables.”