Even More Battery Venting Coverage

Posted 25th February 2016 by Dave Cross
We cautioned at the start of the year that we’d witness the resumption in the coverage of exploding ecig stories and are saddened to be proved correct. Within days of lamenting the latest batch of stories, this week has produced a deluge of new cases.

It is possible to understand the abuse being shared online, directed at those injured by li-ion cells venting. More than this, it is very easy to join in with the exasperation to ask: “When will these people learn?” With recent coverage in January and last week, it can seem like the safety messages simply aren’t being heard of heeded.

“My leg went up like a flare,” said Wullie. “The battery just ignited. It all happened that fast. I had jeans on and before I could do anything they melted to my leg, I didn’t have time to react. I was trying to peel the battery off my leg. So many things were running through my mind.” The story was reported in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Record and no doubt obtained many hits due to the use of shocking photographs.

What is clear from the coverage is that Oor Wullie shorted out the battery in his pocket by not having it isolated from keys or coins. He continued: “I’ve spoken to a solicitor about this already and I’m planning to take legal action.” But who will be the defendant in his legal action?

Maybe it will be his science teacher for not ensuring he knew not to short cells? Efest, perhaps? He may struggle with the latter as the company states on its website: “do not mix batteries with metal stuff together, it does happen big problem because of this kind of mistake.”

Jana Barker is in the news too. She thought it was OK to throw a couple of 18650s into her handbag without any using any box or casing for protection. It is not OK, her husband will verify that as the bag exploded in flames as they were driving and about to join the M60. “All I could hear was screaming and there were smoke and flames everywhere in the back,” said husband Paul. “Our little girl was terrified and didn’t know what to do. It was petrifying.”

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We aren’t going to link to the page containing the pictures of her injury. Nor are we going to link to the tale of Kirby Sheen’s damaged eyelid. Or the video showing Maryland’s Dwayne Cahill explaining how he hadn’t checked for a short before his misused mod exploded in his car. Or the tale of the five hospitalised in Seattle. Nope, none of them - and not the tale of David Garcia in Phoenix either. We’re not linking to the stories because they are all the same tale – that of ignorance and battery misuse resulting in injury being blamed on the equipment.

Last week’s article posed the question: what do we need to do in order to prevent this coverage? The need for an answer appears to be more pressing as every week passes.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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