Recent reports about exploding e-cigs have prompted this blog post. This time it’s not directly about the battery, it’s the chargers.
Updated: 13th March 2020
Fire Chiefs have warned,
“If a charger that is not compatible to the device is used, too much current goes into the batteries, meaning they can overheat and eventually explode.”
The fundamentals of this is not rocket science, it is actually really simple, use the RIGHT charger for your device.
This is really important. Perhaps this is why Apple has the annoying habit of changing the charging lead with each new device so you can ONLY use an Apple charger. Maybe that keeps them and us much safer?
There is a chance we have become blasé about batteries and chargers believing that because we have excellent standards here in the UK no poor quality gear can get in? This is wrong, poor quality products do enter the UK market and you can find them via non-reputable stockists, not all chargers are made equal. And yes, even good quality products can go wrong.
When we first opened a shop, Trading Standards let us in on a few well know secrets of unscrupulous vendors from China. They use fake BSI marks and numbers, but you only know that when you send them off to be tested.
So it is vital that you buy from reputable vendors, it is also vital that you use the charger that comes with your e-cig or from the same supplier as your e-cig.
There are many chargers out there, you can pick up cheap ones from market stalls, but we advise you don’t. Keep in mind, buy cheap buy twice.
As the Fire Chief says,
“We are warning them (e-cig users) that it is simply not worth risking their lives to save a few pounds by buying dodgy, dangerous or incompatible chargers”.
Always buy the best you can afford and that generally means going to a vendor that sells quality or manufactures their own products. This should mean you’ll be safe as long as you then don’t mix and match. You have to take a degree of responsibility here, don’t mix and match e-cigs and their chargers.
Think of them as a monogamous pair, they don’t cheat, they don’t stray, and they need to stay together to function correctly, so honour this!
If you lose a charger, go to the vendor and get the right one to replace it with, do not nip to the pound shop or the market stall because your life is worth so much more than that. Why go back to the vendor? Because the power ratings have to match.
You have to ensure that the charger you’re using is receiving the input it needs from your USB port or AC adapter, and that the output is suitable for the device you’re charging. Different chargers have different purposes and crossing the streams in general isn’t recommended.
Car chargers for cars, a wall charger for the mains and USB’s for your PC and other USB power sources.
General e-cig charging safety
Always check the voltage requirements of any power source to ensure proper output. Some devices such as laptops and iPads can generate more power than is required which will overheat the battery and may cause the battery to vent.
Always plug direct into a wall socket and avoid using multi-socket extension leads as any fire safety specialist would advise, these can overheat and short circuit if overloaded.
Don’t leave your e-cigs charging overnight or unattended. Not all chargers switch off automatically once fully charged and if things start to go wrong, you need to be there to intervene quickly.
Unplug the USB charger or wall plug charger when the battery is fully charged.
If your e-cig is damaged, don’t charge it!
Charge your e-cig out of reach of kids and pets.
Once again exploding e-cigs are not common. Use the charger or charging lead that came with your e-cig, or purchase the e-cig and the charger from the same vendor and read the instructions!