Lithium battery fires on planes are on the rise – a matter of life and death when on an airplane at 35,000 feet in the air.
The FAA says the number of lithium battery fires rose 42% in the last five years, and now there’s an average of a hazard incident once every week in the US. One of the causes? Too many devices on board – and vapes, which are largely unregulated devices.
From a CBS report:
“Lee rushed to fight the smoldering fire, which had started in a lithium battery contained in a vape device that had been placed a bag in the overhead bin on the March 1 Spirit Airlines flight between Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Orlando, Florida. Lee, with the help of fellow flight attendants and passengers, put it out with a fire extinguisher. “
How bad are lithium battery fires? As we previously reported, extremely bad. Just look at what happened with eScooters in New York, with the number of fires doubling yearly, and how authorities are struggling to contain the epidemic of deadly fires caused by seemingly innocuous gadgets.
Lithium battery fires can happen even underwater and are a tough challenge to extinguish even in regular circumstances on the ground.
“The team showed CBS News how the batteries, as designed, supply their own oxygen when they burn, and how the characteristics of the batteries can add to the volatility of the devices. In in one demonstration, the burning lithium-ion battery supplied its own fuel to the flames as the cell burns out of control — underwater!”
You can read in the CBS report how authorities are planning to increase screening to prevent incidents like these. Until then, be very careful what devices you’re traveling with and never, ever use a gadget with a damaged or bloated battery.