UL Begins Certifying Vape Mods for Safety
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UL LLC, formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories, has certified electrical product safety for over 120 years. Now, the labs will begin creating safety standards for battery-powered vaping devices.


The labs have developed and created a testing and certification protocol to evaluate vape mods and other e-cigarette products that use internal lithium batteries.


“UL is certifying e-cigarettes to enhance consumer safety,” said UL in an FAQ explaining the standards. The product category, known as UL 8139, “provides manufacturers with the appropriate requirements and methodology to confidently evaluate, test and certify e-cigarette and vaping devices for electrical and fire-hazard safety as a system,” says the company’s site.


The evaluation protocol of each device looks at the whole electrical system, including batteries, charging circuits, and charger, and the control circuitry.


There are seven primary requirements for certification:


  1. Are the lithium cells operating within their safety windows?
  2. Is the Battery Management System [BMS] suitable for both normal use and foreseeable misuse?
  3. What is the compatibility among interconnected systems as a whole?
  4. Factoring in wide environmental parameters and conditions expected
  5. Testing for mechanical stress reasonably expected in use/misuse
  6. Is there a mechanism that directs venting away from the inhaler?
  7. Supplementing marking and instructions for safe use


There are a couple caveats that could prevent these new UL standards from taking hold in the vaping industry.


First, the life cycle of vaping devices is very short. It’s not uncommon for products to go through five or ten generations within one calendar year. This makes the slow, careful testing by UL a luxury for Chinese manufacturers. Second, the testing protocol only covers devices with built-in batteries. That means that the majority of mods used by experienced vapers would not be eligible for the certification.


The standards would work nicely to certify pod vapes or other small MTL devices, but such devices are unlikely to create safety problems anyway and are a low risk for dangerous malfunctions and battery explosions. Still, as vaping gets more popular, the UL certification may be a selling point for new vapers looking for devices in the confusing – constantly expanding – vape mod marketplace.


Stop into any Vapor Galleria store for all your e-liquid, CBD, and vape device needs.