Tips to Help Avoid Vape Battery or Fire Explosions
You may have heard that e-cigarettes, or vapes, can catch on fire or explode and seriously hurt people. Although these incidents appear uncommon, vape fires and explosions are dangerous to the person using the vaping product and others around them. There may be added dangers, for example, if a vape battery catches fire or explodes near flammable gasses or liquids, such as oxygen, propane, or gasoline.
The exact causes of vape fires or explosions are not yet clear, but some evidence suggests that battery-related issues may be a cause. The tips below may help you avoid a vape battery fire or explosion. Please report a vape fire or explosion or any other undesired health or quality problems with a vape to FDA.
What Else Can I Do?
Until all vapes and vape batteries conform to strong and consistent safety standards, your best protection against vape battery fires or explosions may be knowing as much as possible about your device and how to properly handle and charge its batteries.
- Make sure you read and understand the manufacturer's recommendations for use and care of your device. If your vape did not come with instructions or you have questions, contact the manufacturer.
- Only use batteries recommended for your device. Don't mix different brands of batteries, don't use batteries with different charge levels, and don't use old and new batteries together.
- Charge your vape on a clean, flat surface, away from anything that can easily catch fire and someplace you can clearly see it—not a couch or pillow where it may more easily overheat or get turned on accidentally.
- Protect your vape from extreme temperatures by not leaving it in direct sunlight or in your car on a hot summer day or freezing cold night, and do not charge it in extreme temperatures.
- Don't vape around flammable gasses or liquids, such as oxygen, propane, or gasoline.
- Learn how to pack your device and batteries safely for air travel:
Share these tips with your friends—download the images below and share with your social media community.
How Do I Report a Vape Battery Fire or Explosion to FDA?
Information from consumers about vape fires or explosions can help FDA to address these problems. Anyone can report any undesired health or quality problems with a vape, including fires or explosions, to FDA through the Safety Reporting Portal. When you fill out the form, please be sure to include:
- The name of the vape manufacturer
- The brand name, model, and serial number of the vape
- The brand name and model of the battery
- Where it was purchased
- Whether the product was used differently than intended by the manufacturer
- Whether the product was modified in any way
Learn more about how to report a battery explosion to the FDA in the video below.
- Lopez CF, Jeevarajan JA, Mukherjee PP. Characterization of lithium-ion battery thermal abuse behavior using experimental and computational analysis. J Electrochem Soc. 2015;162(10):A2163–A2173.
- 3.7 Safety. In Gates Energy Products. Rechargeable Batteries Applications Handbook. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998:149-51.
- Carriage of Spare Lithium Batteries in Carry-on and Checked Baggage. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; 2015. SAFO 15010.
- Lotfi N, Fajri P, Novosad S, Savage J, Landers R, Ferdowsi M. Development of an experimental Testbed for research in lithium-ion battery management systems. Energies. 2013;6(10):5231–5258.
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumer Product Safety Alert: Household Batteries Can Cause Chemical Burns. http://www.nchh.org/Portals/0/Contents/CPSC_Battery_Burns.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2016.
- Zhao W, Luo G, Wang C. Modeling internal shorting process in large-format Li-Ion cells. J Electrochem Soc. 2015;162(7):A1352–A1364. 7. Finegan DP, Scheel M, Robinson JB, et al. Investigating lithium-ion battery materials during overcharge-induced thermal runaway: An operando and multi-scale x-ray CT study. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2016;18(45):30912–30919.
- US Fire Administration. Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/electronic_cigarettes.pdf. Published October 2014. Accessed November 4, 2016.
- US Federal Aviation Administration. Batteries Carried by Airline Passengers: Frequently Asked Questions. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/
Airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf. Published September 9, 2016. Accessed November 4, 2016.
- Blum AF, Long RT. Fire Hazard Assessment of Lithium Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems. Springer New York; 2016.
- Lyon RE, Walters RN, Crowley S, Quintiere JG. Fire Hazards of Lithium Ion Batteries presented at: International Aircraft Systems Fire Protection Working Group Meeting; October 21-22, 2015; Atlantic City, New Jersey. https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/systems/Oct15Meeting/Lyon-1015-LIBs.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2016.
- US Federal Aviation Administration. Vapes on a Plane Marketing Kit. https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/resources/vapes_marketing_kit/. Accessed August 26, 2020.