Vaping for beginners: 6 Tips for battery safety

The batteries used in vaping devices are very different from those found inside your television’s remote control.  Vape batteries are much more powerful which requires the user to handle them more carefully.  The below list of safety tips is most specifically geared towards beginning vapers using vapor technology powered by 18650s.  These tips are not designed for battery safety issues involving mechanical mods, which require a thorough understanding of Ohm’s Law and are not recommended for inexperienced vapers.

1. Battery wraps should remain intact.

If you purchase a battery and the outside wrapping is not in mint, pristine condition, take notice. If you see a tear or a nick, consider rewrapping the battery for optimum safety.  Most e-commerce sites and local vape shops sell battery wraps, and they are usually very cheap.  They’re also very easy to install.  YouTube has loads of videos demonstrating the step-by-step process. 

2.  Don’t forget the battery case.

One of the more common causes of battery explosions is improper storage of unused batteries.  Never toss your unused 18650s into your pocket or purse where metal objects like keys and coins can potentially interact with them quite easily.  Unprotected batteries that rub up against metal objects can cause short circuits, which is extremely unsafe.

3.  Avoid counterfeits.

When it comes to battery safety, you tend to get what you pay for.  Avoid the cheapo options because they may be improperly repackaged and relabeled as reused or repurposed.  Some of them may even be outright counterfeit.  Always purchase your vaping batteries from reputable online retailers and local vendors.  The Big Three manufacturers in terms of battery safety are Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony.

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4.  Avoid battery overdrain.

If possible, avoid using your vaping device to such an extent that the battery completely drains.  Lithium-ion batteries tend to lose their overall capacity when they are allowed to discharge completely and repeatedly.  Most of the newer vapor devices have a battery charge level indicator.  Keep your eyes on it as you vape.  And never leave your batteries charging indefinitely, especially overnight. Rather than hooking your vape pen directly to the wall outlet USB adapter that typically comes with the device, consider using a separate battery charger system for the individual batteries themselves for increased safety.

5.  Avoid mixing battery brands.

If your vaping device requires two batteries rather than one, make sure that both batteries are identical in brand name (for example, a pair of Panasonic NCRs).  If one goes bad, make sure to replace it with the same brand and model.  Best practice, however, is to simply replace both batteries with new ones at the same time, always keeping the pair “married.”  This tends to ensure that the battery cells maintain the same number of charges which keeps their individual capacities and performance characteristics always in balance.  It also prevents one battery from becoming more powerful – and perhaps potentially more volatile - than the other.

6.  Avoid extreme temperatures when storing unused batteries.

Any kind of battery, vape or otherwise, cannot tolerate extreme highs and lows in temperature.  Excessive heat can strain the battery, and extremely low temperatures can diminish their capacities.  Storing new or unused batteries in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight is recommended.  Avoid storing your vape batteries in a vehicle’s glove box, for example.  If you live in a region where outdoor temperatures tend towards the extreme, consider carrying your vape gear inside a small, insulated cooler for maximum safety management. 

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