Have you heard about the dangers of 18650 batteries and how you should be careful when buying them online? In the following article, we explore 18650 battery safety, including adequately storing and using 18650 batteries.
There's no doubting the fact that lithium-ion batteries have been a handy invention of humankind.
Rather than needing to keep devices, appliances, or cars plugged into a hard-wired power source, batteries allow us to be more mobile, bringing our devices with us on the go!
However, like many things in life, when lithium-ion batteries are misused or mishandled, they can be dangerous.
In fact, over the years, there has been an increasing number of reports of personal injuries, burns, and explosions happening with these types of mobile power sources.
Below, we're looking at these lithium-ion batteries, often used in vape devices, and how to keep yourself safe when using or storing them!
What Are 18650 Batteries?
18650 batteries are very versatile lithium-ion batteries, capable of providing long-lasting mobile battery power.
Their name comes from their size, roughly 18mm in diameter and 65mm in length.
You'll find these batteries in all sorts of portable electronic devices, including power tools, mobile computers, digital cameras, electric vehicles, and, more importantly, in many vaping devices.
Most branded lithium-ion batteries will have a label indicating their voltage, size, and mAh rating.
In recent years, there's been a growing trend in accidents happening with these types of batteries.
Most often, these incidents were the result of improper usage or storage conditions.
Unsafe And Exploding Batteries?
Although proper battery usage in your vape will not likely result in any accidents or injuries, it certainly is possible.
Earlier this year, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning against buying or using loose 18650 li-ion batteries due to a disturbing trend in improper usage and personal injury.
The report states that li-ion batteries should be used only as a single component of a battery pack. They shouldn't be available for use or individual resale to consumers.
However, there's been a rise in reports of loose 18650 batteries being sold online on sites like Amazon or eBay.
The US CPSC is currently working with eCommerce sites to regulate and remove any online listings for batteries unsafe for consumer sale.
What Causes Lithium-Ion Batteries To Malfunction?
When manufactured, 18650 battery packs typically come with built-in short circuit protection safety features.
However, these safety features no longer work when these battery packs are disassembled and sold as individual batteries.
More specifically, loose 18650s will often have exposed terminals, which may short circuit if they encounter any conductive materials. This includes loose change or even the keys in your pocket.
A loose 18650 battery will likely begin to overheat when a short circuit happens and can ignite the cell's inner materials. This can lead to the battery forcibly expelling its content, resulting in fire, explosions, and serious injuries.
Additionally, these batteries can also malfunction if used in an inappropriate battery charging device.
They can also cause fires or explode when damaged, crushed, or punctured.
18650 Batteries – Safety And Storage Tips For Vape Batteries
The first and most important safety tip we can offer is never to use loose or disassembled 18650 batteries.
You should also never disassemble or tamper with 18650 batteries by yourself.
Let's take a look at a few safety and storage tips for your 18650 vape batteries:
- DO NOT carry vape batteries in your pocket. Because these batteries have exposed positive and negative terminals, they may short circuit if they come into contact with loose pocket change, lighters, or even a metal button or zipper.
- DO carry and store your batteries in a protective battery case.
- DO NOT use 18650 batteries if damaged or punctured. It would be best if you never used deformed, dented, or heavily corroded batteries.
- DO only use batteries of the same type, size, colour, voltage, mAh rating, and condition. Mismatched or different batteries used together can cause damage and may become dangerous.
- DO NOT overcharge or leave batteries unattended while charging. If your battery is dead, it should take no more than 3 to 4 hours to reach a full charge. Don't charge your batteries for any longer than what they need.
- DO dispose of your 18650 batteries properly. You can recycle Lithium-ion batteries by bringing them to your local recycling facility.
Storing 18650 Batteries
In terms of storage, always store your 18650 li-ion batteries in a cool and dry location.
Exposure to direct sunlight, high temperatures, and exposure to water can all cause 18650 batteries to become dangerous.
Also, never use a charger unless designed to charge 18650 vape batteries. Inappropriate chargers can cause fires and potential explosions.
Finally, only purchase 18650 li-ion batteries from reliable brands and companies that you know and trust whenever possible.
Are 18650 Lithium-Ion Batteries Dangerous?
Today, you'll find 18650 lithium-ion batteries used in a wide range of portable electronic devices. This includes laptops, high-power flashlights, power tools, and even electric cars.
These batteries are designed to handle and discharge lots of energy, making them perfect for powering devices for extended periods.
18650 batteries are no more dangerous than a regular AA or AAA battery when properly used and handled. (Note that while these batteries may look like AA batteries, they are designed for different applications and are not interchangeable)
On the other hand, when misused or mishandled, they can be very dangerous, causing fires, burns, and possibly even explosions.
So do yourself a favour and follow the safety and storage tips outlined above, and you shouldn't have any problems.