Economy

FAA: Laptops Pose Risk of Fire and Explosion in Checked Luggage

FAA: Laptops Pose Risk of Fire and Explosion in Checked Luggage”

Due to the potential for catastrophic fires in the cargo holds of planes, the Federal Aviation Administration is calling on the world's airline industry to ban large electronic devices like laptops from checked luggage.

That fire could then be raging unchecked and lead to an aircraft lost.

The proposed ban is being discussed at a meeting of the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization's panel on risky goods, which is being held this week and next week in Montreal. The proposed ban is on the agenda of a meeting of ICAO's panel on unsafe goods being held this week and next week in Montreal. The organization conducted ten tests with a fully charged laptop batter that was placed alongside a heater, which caused the battery's temperature to rise continually.

"I$3 t was concluded that if a [portable electronic device] is packed in a suitcase with an aerosol can and a thermal runaway event occurs, there is the potential for an aerosol can explosion", the FAA writes.

A fire started nearly immediately and quickly grew, and within just 40 seconds the aerosol can had exploded. When next to an aerosol spray can, they could disable the plane's fire suppression system.

Various other tests of laptop batteries packed with nail polish removers, hand sanitizers also resulted in large fires.

As a result of these findings, the FAA is recommending that electronics larger than a smartphone should be banned from checked luggage unless they're specifically approved by the airline.

The lithium-ion batteries that are common in laptops have been found to combust in confined spaces.

"The fires can burn up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, close to the melting point of the aluminum used in aircraft construction", according to the news agency.

In the last decade three cargo jets have been destroyed and four pilots were killed by fires which were either ignited by or further impacted by shipments of lithium batteries.



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