Stories regarding “exploding e-cigarettes” are a routine feature in the media. However, it is never the e-cigarette that vents, it is the battery.
Despite the impression, often given by the media, such incidents are rare. In the period between April 2014 to March 2015, the fire and rescue services were called to 62 e-cigarette battery related fires. This compares with 1,878 fires caused as a result of tobacco products in the same period.
There are nearly three million regular vapers in the UK and virtually all of them will go through their vaping lives without any battery related fires.
This is however a very serious issue, particularly as these incidents are easily avoided. With this in mind, the UK’s leading trade association for the independent vape industry – The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) – has launched a major new battery awareness campaign.
IBVTA is a not-for-profit, non-political trade association, and all members are free from any ownership or control by the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries.
IBVTA members account for more than 50 per cent of the independent market of UK manufactured and imported devices and e-liquids, making IBVTA the largest trade association in this sector.
They have sent all their members (manufacturers, importers, distributors and vendors) detailed guidance on battery safety, and the advice and information they expect them to provide to customers. In addition to this, they have produced a poster that members can display in their businesses. The poster contains the following battery safety advice for businesses and consumers:
• Always buy from a reputable vendor that is proud of the quality of their goods
• Check that the product or packaging displays the correct CE and ROHS markings and that the distributor can prove their authenticity
• Do not mix a battery from one supplier with a charger from another unless compatibility is specifically confirmed
• Attach the battery to the charger in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions
• Do not charge the battery close to flammable materials
• Always ensure batteries are charged using a suitable power source
• Do not leave a charging battery unattended, and ensure battery and charger connections are always clean
• Never allow your battery to come into contact with metal items such as loose change or keys in a pocket or bag as this can result in a short circuit of the battery
• Removable batteries must be stored and transported in suitable containers when not in use
• If the battery is in any way damaged, leaking or ceases to function normally, it should not be used
• Batteries should be disposed of and recycled correctly
IBTVA hope that by providing our members with this guidance, they will be able to better serve their customers. At the same time, they will be able to raise awareness of battery safety amongst the wider vaping community and to hopefully provide smokers, who may have been put off vaping because of some of the media coverage around “exploding e-cigarettes”, with the confidence to switch to a significantly less harmful alternative.
For a copy of IBVTA’s guidance on battery safety, please click here