Some individuals hail vaping being a safer alternative to 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, where there is a few evidence that this stuff inside vapes and e-cigs is toxic. But beyond that, there’s the simple fact these things occasionally blow up.

You hadn’t learned about this? Some pretty gruesome reports are beginning to accumulate. In November, a man in Colorado broke his neck, lost some teeth, and suffered burns and facial fractures when his electronic cigarette exploded. A 15-year-old California boy lost half 12 teeth inside a similar mishap last month. In Tennessee, another teen is coping with the severe burns caused whenever a vape pen starter kit with juice caught fire in the pocket a couple of weeks ago.

Statistics outlining exactly how prevalent this can be remain thin, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, of most things, identified 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions in america between 2009-2014. However, that list relies only on incidents reported through the media. Considering that vaping’s seen a surge in popularity ever since then-just last year, the CDC reported a three-fold increase among middle- and high school students alone-the telephone number more than likely is rising. A fast Online search shows at the very least twelve explosions in 2015 alone.

As an alternative to burning tobacco, vape pens and e-cigs utilize a small lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge to release a vapor that’s inhaled. As in any device which uses lithium-ion batteries, you can come across problems as soon as the battery is damaged or put through extremes in temperature. A shorter circuit could cause battery to overheat, catch fire, or even explode. These problems usually occur in cheap consumer gadgets which are quickly churned away from factories. Overall, it’s relatively rare, but obviously it takes place-recently, in hoverboard scooters.

“With lithium-ion batteries on the whole, if you operate one outside its safety window, there’s a tendency where things may 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 but four US states are averaging temperatures below 50 at the moment.

Sometimes, the problem is compounded by cheap lithium-ion batteries that “don’t possess the luxury of using sophisticated management systems,” Viswanathan says. That can lead to dangerously over- or under-charged batteries. Dendrite is another potential problem. Dendrite is really a conductive filament that will form throughout boxmmod charge/discharge cycles, particularly if the battery is rapidly charged. These things can spread such as a weed, eventually bridging the electrodes and creating a short circuit. “You have basically something equal to gasoline within your lithium-ion battery,” Viswanathan says, “and thus immediately it catches fire.”

Lithium-ion batteries power a great deal of gadgets needless to say, and frequently do it without trouble. But stuff like mobile phone devices and laptops and electric vehicles typically are manufactured to exacting specifications and rigorously tested, both with the company and outside experts. The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, which represents for vape-makers, stated it “cannot speak to user error or with respect to a manufacturer for their device” and, “When there is truly a concern with a specific device, much like a lap top or cellphone manufacturer, that company should go ahead and take appropriate action.”

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

All of which begs the question what, if anything, is now being done regarding this. Most regulatory discussions about e-cigarettes and vapes concentrate on the Food and Drug Administration’s critique from the chemicals in the devices. The FDA is about to introduce rules regulating the marketplace, a move which could classify electronic cigarettes and vaping products similar to tobacco. Products would carry warning labels, sales to minors can be banned, and you’d see restrictions on things like offering free samples. But little is considered about the safety of your devices.

The Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association says it supports “reasonable science-based regulations,” but opposes everything that might “stifle innovation.” Nevertheless it argues “e-cigs and vapor items are technology products, separate and distinct from combustible tobacco.” They liken these people to electronic products.

That’s where things get tricky. Asked when it has any safety concerns concerning the devices, the customer Products Safety Commission deferred to the FDA, saying it is the federal regulator in charge there. The FDA does claim responsibility for ensuring the security from the parts inside the devices which can be utilized in the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products. But there aren’t a great deal of safety rules for manufacturers to go by, as well as the FDA is encouraging people to report any problems.

Viswanathan includes a recommendation for companies making what is popcorn lung from vaping and 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 prone to catching fire,” he says, “and car makers have found efficient strategies to create zones where these batteries are safe to operate.”

Granted, the chances your vape pen will blow up such as an exploding cigar are slim. However it is possible, so your best option is to find an excellent vape pen from the reputable manufacturer. Check the parts-once they appear and feel cheap, they probably are. Viswanathan suggests making certain it’s got some kind of battery management system to prevent shorts and thermal runaway. Make sure you’re making use of the right battery and charger, and don’t modify anything.