Why Do Vapes Explode, and How Can You Prevent It from Happening?

Not many vapes catch fire and explode, but when the rare one does, it captures the media’s perspective-less attention.

An Electronic cigar explodes on the hand of a user. Editable Clip Art.

If you’ve seen news reports about exploding vape gear, you may be wondering what’s going on — and how a seemingly simple device can erupt into a fireball and possibly cause damage. If you’re using vapes, or thinking about starting out with them and switching from cigarettes, you might well wonder if the same could happen to you and if everything might go up in smoke.

The truth, however, is that there are many millions of vapers here in the US and right around the world. There is an equal, if not larger, number of vapes being used every day — and practically all function perfectly and never so much as leak e-liquid. Compare this to the amount of lit cigarettes that cause damage — burning people nearby with accidental touches; damaging chairs, tables and floors with hot ash; and even burning down entire houses, as smokers with a lit cigarette fall asleep.

It’s no surprise to anyone that the media just loves to be sensational to try to get people to buy papers or click on stories. So when on the rare occasion a vape malfunctions and erupts into a blaze, the media goes into a frenzied overdrive, as usual. It can seem that the entire vaping world is coming crashing down because one out of a million vapes has exploded, but there’s often no perspective on the real story at all.

Reasons Why Vapes Might Explode

One of the main reasons a vape might catch fire and explode is because it’s cheap. Whoever bought it was trying to save money and got their hands on cheap vape gear from some unreputable supplier or store. Often, the components in these electronic devices can fail, and elements of them that are not supposed to touch come in contact — causing sparks to fly.

Additionally, some people try to modify their vape gear to get a better experience. An example of this might be interfering with the supplied heating coil or element to achieve a higher voltage and give a vaper a bigger rush from each inhale. It’s never a good idea to take an electrical device apart and modify it any way you want — especially if you’re not qualified to do so and taking a chance in the hope it’ll pay off.

Also, bear in mind that, whatever type of vape gear you have, it’s most likely powered by a lithium-ion battery. While this allows for rapid charging and long usage periods, there is always a risk, however slight, that something might go wrong with it. There is a reason why vapes are not allowed in check-in luggage on planes, but must be in your carry-on bags or pockets: it’s so you can look after them at all times.

Slashing the Exploding Vapes Risk

The key message in preventing anything from going catastrophically wrong with your vapes is to make sure you always buy quality. The best vape manufacturers source their hardware from leading suppliers and ensure their designs are as safe as possible for their users. Vape gear is not that expensive, after all, and when you consider the high cost of tobacco cigarettes and the low cost of vape juice, it’s really not a stretch to opt for good-quality and higher-priced vapes that will last.

Avoid overcharging your vaping batteries — when they’re done, they’re done, and letting them charge for longer, in the hope you might be able to get a little bit more life out of them, is not a good idea. It can damage the battery and not only lead to lower output, but other negative side-effects too, such as structural damage. Many vapes charge in an hour or less, so make a note never to charge them overnight while you’re asleep.

Other solid advice to prevent your vapes from exploding is to keep them out of extreme weather, hot and cold, and damp environments. Whatever you do, though, make sure you always read the manufacturer instructions when you get a new vape!

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