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What’s Behind Deadly E-Cigarette Explosions?

An explosion of an e-cigarette is a pretty terrifying prospect for anyone using these devices. You never really want anything you are using to explode (unless you’re a pyrotechnician), and you definitely don’t want an explosion from something that you put in your mouth and keep in your pocket. The cause of these explosions has been traced to a battery called a 18650.

What Is a 18650 Battery?

The 18650 is a lithium-ion battery that is a little bit larger than a AA battery. These batteries were originally intended for use in electric vehicles and power tools but have been adopted by some electronic cigarette manufacturers for use in their devices.

Why Are 18650 Batteries Dangerous?

The main danger posed by these batteries has to do with the fact that you must take them out to recharge them. If you use your device frequently, that can lead to a lot of unloading and loading the batteries into your e-cigarette. Doing so can cause the battery to become worn and damaged, which can cause the battery to become unsafe. Metal on metal contact can cause the batteries to easily overheat.

While inhaling, you are at the highest risk because that is when the battery is being taxed the most. That can make for a deadly combination since this is when the battery is in a position to do the most damage. 

There is also the potential for harm from these batteries when they aren’t even in the devices. Many people end up carrying these batteries in their pockets, which can also be extremely dangerous, especially if you carry items such as keys in your pocket as well. The potential for overheating from a worn battery having metal on metal exposure with your keys is far too high for comfort.

The shape of an e-cigarette can make it even more dangerous when a battery malfunctions. While in other objects, the explosion would likely be more omnidirectional, with an e-cigarette, the explosion tends to be more focused. If this battery were powering a stereo, an explosion probably wouldn’t do too much damage aside from breaking the stereo. 

When the force pushes out in all directions, it is not like a bomb exploding. The eruption is not strong enough overall to result in a deadly blast. However, the e-cigarette focuses the explosion along a straight line and causes the battery to shoot out of the e-cigarette like it is being launched out of a cannon. When that cannon is often pointed right at somebody’s face at close range, an otherwise harmless explosion can have deadly consequences.

There Are Better Options Available

It’s important to note that occurrences of e-cigarettes exploding are low. Most users are not going to encounter this problem while using these devices. That being said, even at low risk, do you really want to tempt fate with a device that could end your life? There are many e-cigarette models on the market that do not use the 18650 batteries associated with these explosions.

Instead, they use safer batteries, with built-in protections that you don’t remove from the device at all. Safety standards for e-cigarettes are being raised, and it is likely that companies using 18650 batteries will likely need to change their design for use with another power source in order to remain on the market. In fact, e-cigarettes are likely to all require built-in batteries rather than changeable ones soon.

What to Do if Injured by an Exploding E-Cigarette

Anyone injured by an exploding battery is likely going to have significant medical costs associated with their injury. You likely will not be able to afford these costs on your own and will be looking for financial compensation from the e-cigarette manufacturer. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is your best path to receiving a fair settlement.

According to personal injury statistics, you put yourself in the best position by talking to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. There is a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after an accident, but that is generally two years or more. The main reason for filing immediately is that the data is all fresh. You don’t have to worry about memories getting foggy or records getting lost.

If you or a loved one was injured as the result of an exploding e-cigarette, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area today. Hiring a qualified lawyer will give you the peace of mind that your legal case is in good hands and that you will be getting the money you need to cover your legal expenses. That knowledge can leave you free to focus on recovering from your injuries and moving on with your life.

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