Trip attendant union warns of “catastrophic” fire risk from e-cigarettes on planes

The pres >wants the FAA to ban e-cigarettes from planes because their lithium-ion batteries could possibly be a fire risk. Lithium-ion batteries power just about any smart phone we have actually — however the concern about vaping devices is due to the actual fact they frequently utilize cheaper batteries to power them, increasing worries they truly are prone to fail and produce a fire .

In February, extra lithium-ion batteries sparked a fire aboard a Delta trip whilst it sat in the gate. Those batteries have been in e-cigarettes – just like the the one that caught fire within the TSA line in Charleston, West Virginia. As well as in Savannah, Georgia, the battery pack for the vape pen ended up being blamed following a case began smoking at safety.

At the very least 265 incidents involving batteries have actually been reported to your FAA since 1991, and FAA information shows at least 48 e-cigarette related smoke or fire incidents at airports or on planes. That is more incidents than laptop computers and tablets, mobile phones, battery pack chargers or batteries that are spare.

An FAA test movie shows why lithium-ion batteries have already been prohibited in checked baggage. In case a battery fails and gets in exactly what’s called thermal runaway, it could burn off therefore hot that the air plane’s fire suppression system can not place it down. In 2016, the FAA banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to its lithium batteries fires that are starting.

“A lithium ion battery pack fire on an airplane may be catastrophic,” Sara Nelson, president for the Association of Flight Attendants, told CBS Information transport correspondent Kris Van Cleave. Nelson added that trip attendants are becoming firefighters on planes, as well as the FAA has to do more.

Trip attendants are taught to manage battery pack fires. That will involve placing the smoldering or device that is flaming fire-resistant bags, which are now carried up to speed numerous planes.

“think about we simply not have these e-cigarettes from the air air plane after all?” Nelson said.

But Mark Millam regarding the Flight Safety Foundation said while batteries from e-cigarettes are really a great concern on planes, more details becomes necessary before an outright ban is reasonable.

“A ban might happen if you have the proper information which is understood about this,” he stated.

The FAA told “CBS today” in a declaration so it has “clear laws” in the transport that is safe of batteries. Legislation requires that e-cigarettes, vape pencils, and batteries that are spare be transported in carry-on bags.

The administration added that “because regarding the wide selection of battery pack conditions that may appear, it’s important that air companies have actually the flexibleness to evaluate and address the potential risks involved with every person situation.”