HoCo man suffers burns after vape explodes

Posted at 10:54 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 07:08:26-05
A Howard County man suffered burns after his vaping device exploded. Howard County Fire and Rescue responded to a Fulton address Wednesday, after receiving a 911 call that a man's vape exploded in his pocket. Crews took the man to Howard County General Hospital to treat his burns.
Last week on In Focus, a Cecil County man shared that his e-cigarette exploded while he was using it. He was not hurt. 
Most all e-cigarettes use lithium-ion batteries because they're lightweight and pack a lot of power. Dr. Eric Wachsman, director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, explained that they're also highly flammable and can malfunction for a number of different reasons. 
"You can avoid the fire if you don't charge it at too high of a rate or discharge it at too high of a rate," he said. "You can avoid it if you maintain the temperature at an appropriate temperature. But all of those things require control electronics to make sure it's operating in a safe manner and if the rest of the control electronics are not up to quality necessary, you do have a potential risk there."
Wachsman said the key is to make sure you're buying a high-quality product in the first place. Cheaper products may cut corners safety-wise. He also advises to only use the charger that came with the device and for the appropriate amount of charging time.
Wednesday, the Department of Transportation formally banned the use of e-cigarettes on commercial domestic flights and international flights to-and-from the U.S. Passengers are permitted to carry e-cigs onto planes, but they are not allowed to charge their batteries during the flight.