What Happens When Your Vape Pen Catches Fire?


Vape pens, also known as e-cigarettes, have been touted as the latest, greatest way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. The typical story goes that e-cigs are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. However, their track record shows they have risks no one ever imagined. One of the greatest dangers is that vape pens can explode and cause personal injuries. Here`s what you need to know about vape pen fires, injuries, and what to do if they happen to you.

A New Product with Big Risks

Vape pens came on the market and the industry took off immediately. The first-generation e-cigarette with the piezoelectric element used in current e-cigs wasn`t developed until 2003. By 2007, e-cigarettes were being sold worldwide. Current global sales exceed $7 billion, and the market is still growing every year.

Unfortunately, there`s an alarming problem with e-cigarettes: they can burst into flames, causing personal injury as well as property damage. This may happen when you`re using a poorly-made e-cig or when you`ve modified one improperly. However, it can happen with the best vape pens available, especially if you happen to get a defective one.

According to attorney Bill Voss, ÒInjuries from e-cigarettes catching fire are far from rare. Burn centers and hospitals around the country have reported vape pen explosions in recent years and the companies creating these products need to be held accountable for the pain and damage they have caused.Ó

Why Vape Pens Explode

The lithium ion battery found in most vape pens seems to be the culprit behind the e-cig explosions. The most common reasons these batteries catch fire in e-cigs include:

  • Overcharging
  • Exposure to outside heating sources like direct sunlight
  • Being put in a pressurized environment like in an airplane baggage compartment

They Don`t Just Explode When You`re Using Them

Vape pens can certainly explode as you puff on them. That can lead to severe injury to your face and hands. However, you don`t have to be using your e-cig for it to explode. It can happen when it`s tucked away in your pocket, sitting on your nightstand, or laying idle in a drawer.

Can You Prevent Injury?

You can certainly take precautions to minimize your risk of injury. Here are some tips that might help.

Get the Safest Vape Pen Possible

Start by buying a high-quality vape pen and only using an excellent battery from a reputable manufacturer. A cheap lithium battery might save you some money in the short-term, but if the battery explodes, the financial costs can be much greater.

Charge Your e-Cig Properly

Remember that improper charging and overcharging are among the chief reasons vape pens overheat. Overcharging can cause a short circuit that can set your vape pen on fire. When you charge your e-cigarette, make sure to use the charging device that came with it. Follow the manufacturer`s recommendations on charging time, and never charge it overnight.

Take Precautions When Flying

An exploding vape pen would be extremely bad news on an airplane, not only for you but for other passengers as well. The best thing you can do is to leave your e-cig at home. Short of that, taking it apart before stowing it in the baggage compartment can reduce the risk that it will start a fire.

Can You Eliminate the Risk?

While taking the above precautions will reduce the chances that your vape pen will catch fire, you can`t eliminate the risk completely. For one thing, even the most conscientious e-cig manufacturer can put out a defective product from time to time. Some vape pens come with a battery made into them, so you don`t get a choice of what kind of battery it has. And, you can`t always control environmental factors like excessive heat.

Vape Pen Injuries

So, what happens when a vape pen explodes? Often what happens is that people get injured. Vape pen users and those around them can get burns, scarring, or other types of injuries. Here are some cases where that very thing happened.

Fire in the Pocket

A vape pen user who had his e-cig in his pocket had second-degree burns after his device exploded in his pocket. Another user was severely burned on his hands and legs after his e-cigarette started sparking and exploded in his pocket.

Explosion in a Restaurant

Being personally injured by a vape pen that catches fire is bad enough. But when the explosion affects people around you, the results can be even worse. In one instance, an e-cigarette exploded in a restaurant. It burned the user`s hands and face, and hit another customer in the chest.

A Child`s Injuries

A woman was charging her vape pen in her car. Behind her in his car seat was her small son. When her vape pen exploded, a part of the device landed in her son`s car seat causing him first- and second-degree burns.

Car Fire

A woman who had her e-cig in her car suffered serious burns after her vape pen exploded and set her car on fire.

House Fire

When one man was found dead in his home after a house fire, the fire department traced the ignition source to a vape pen he had been using.

Do You Have Legal Recourse?

If you have been injured from a vape pen fire, or e-cigarette explosion you have a legal right to sue the manufacturer or other parties who you believe are at fault. Several such cases have already been filed, including:

  • The case of a 17-year-old whose vape exploded in his pocket during high school
  • A lawsuit by a man who says his vape exploded in his mouth, burning his face, mouth, throat, esophagus, and lungs.
  • A suit brought by a man who says he lost his finger when his e-cig exploded in bed.
  • The case of a woman who was awarded $1.9 million after suffering second-degree burns when her e-cig battery exploded.

So, do you have legal recourse if you`re injured by a vape pen? You may be able to recover the costs of medical bills and lost wages and receive awards for pain and suffering. The first step is to find a lawyer who knows how to handle this type of lawsuit. Choose an attorney who is well-versed in consumer law to get the best results for your case. Contact Bill Voss to learn more about what you can do after a vape pen injury.