Many people hail vaping like a safer substitute for cigarettes, arguing that there’s no tobacco smoke, so it’s have got to be safer. It remains to be seen if that’s true, there is some evidence how the stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the fact these matters occasionally blow up.

You hadn’t heard of this? Some pretty gruesome reports are starting to accumulate. In November, a male in Colorado broke his neck, lost some teeth, and suffered burns and facial fractures when his e-cigarette exploded. A 15-year-old California boy lost half twelve teeth in a similar mishap recently. In Tennessee, another teen is recovering from the severe burns caused every time a vape pen starter kit caught fire within his pocket several weeks ago.

Statistics outlining precisely how prevalent this can be remain thin, nevertheless the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of things, identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette explosions in the united states between 2009-2014. However, that list relies only on incidents reported by the media. Considering that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity since then-last year, the CDC reported a 3-fold increase among middle- and school students alone-the amount almost certainly is rising. A quick Online search shows a minimum of 12 explosions in 2015 alone.

As an alternative to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs work with a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to discharge a vapor that’s inhaled. Like any device that uses lithium-ion batteries, you can come across problems as soon as the battery is damaged or subjected to extremes in temperature. A quick circuit may cause the battery to overheat, catch fire, as well as explode. These problems have a tendency to exist in cheap consumer gadgets that happen to be quickly churned out of factories. Overall, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it happens-most recently, in hoverboard scooters.

“With lithium-ion batteries generally, when you operate one outside its safety window, there’s a tendency where things can go wrong,” says Venkat Viswanathan, who teaches mechanical engineering Carnegie Mellon University. That window is startlingly small: Viswanathan says batteries would be best kept between 50 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s February, and all of but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 right now.

In some instances, the catch is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t possess the luxury of utilizing sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can cause dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is yet another potential problem. Dendrite is a conductive filament that can form during the period of boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, especially if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread such as a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and resulting in a short circuit. “You have basically something equal to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and thus immediately it catches fire.”

Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets of course, and sometimes achieve this without trouble. But stuff like mobile phones and laptops and electric vehicles typically are created to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both by the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, said it “cannot talk to user error or on behalf of a manufacturer for his or her device” and, “When there is truly a concern using a specific device, similar to a lap top or cellular phone manufacturer, that company should take the appropriate action.”

As well as be fair, it’s not uncommon for users to modify their best box mod vape, and numerous websites offer tips about how to do just that. The marketplace trade group duly notes that hacked and modded devices can pose a safety risk.

All of which begs the question what, if something, has been done regarding this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes target the Food and Drug Administration’s critique in the chemicals based in the devices. The FDA is going to introduce rules regulating the business, a move that may classify e cigarettes and vaping products similar to tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors will be banned, and you’d see restrictions on such things as offering free samples. But little has been said regarding the safety of your devices.

The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes whatever might “stifle innovation.” However it argues “e-cigs and vapor goods are technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken them to consumer electronics.

That’s where things get tricky. Asked if it has any safety concerns concerning the devices, the Consumer Products Safety Commission deferred towards the FDA, saying it will be the federal regulator in control there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the protection in the parts inside the devices that happen to be utilized in the intake of cigarettes and tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to follow along with, as well as the FDA is encouraging individuals to report any problems.

Viswanathan features a recommendation for companies making what is sub ohm vaping along with other gadgets that use lithium-ion batteries: Crib from automakers making electric cars. They’ve developed sophisticated systems for minimizing the risks of problems. “Lithium-ion batteries fundamentally are given to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have realized efficient ways to create zones where these batteries are secure to work.”

Granted, the percentages your vape pen will blow up as an exploding cigar are slim. But it is possible, so the best choice is to purchase a top quality vape pen from the reputable manufacturer. Examine the parts-if they look and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making certain it’s got some form of battery management system to stop shorts and thermal runaway. Ensure you’re using the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.