Man sues e-cig shop for $1 million after li-ion batteries explode in his shorts March 14 2015, 0 Comments

Google Streetview of the shop which sold the exploding battery

Rather than a big boom and mushroom cloud, the explosion caused a sizzling fire with sparks shooting from the man's crotch area. This is because lithium ion batteries rarely explode, even when short-circuited. Modern li-ion batteries have vents and built-in protection that spews toxic chemicals rather than shrapnel. Shortly after the explosion he rushed to the shower to wipe away the dangerous chemicals covering his leg, likely including ether and other nasty things in the electrolyte.

This is no laughing matter, as the chemical burns were severe and we have left the graphic images off of this blog. The batteries that seriously hurt this man were cheap, low-quality batteries manufactured in China. It's just another of many explosion stories, painting a clear picture on how important it is to always buy the right batteries.

Nearly all e-cigarette accidents are caused by a faulty battery while being over-charged, over-discharged, or short-circuited. This is why it is so important for manufacturers to publish accurate battery specifications.

Teach your customers about proper storage

In this case, the accident probably could be been avoided by properly educating the consumer about storage. There are not many details in the story about exactly how it happened - but it was during a Kickball game when the man's battery started to spark. The exertion from playing likely caused something metal in his pocket to connect the positive and negative terminal of the battery; or the battery itself was damaged or bent causing the two terminals to touch and short-circuit.

  • If you play a sport, or something else physically demanding, don't carry a battery on you.
  • Never carry a loose battery in your pocket with other metal objects. 
  • Always store or carry your battery in a protective shell, like an 18650 plastic case.

But most of all, always buy authentic, Grade A batteries from a supplier you trust.