Battery fires on planes

By | Category: Travel rumblings

KindleRichard Westcott, the BBC’s transport correspondent, has been running a story today about the hazards of plane fires caused by lithium batteries.

Before I go any further let me make it clear that he is talking about fire hazards caused by cheap, dodgy batteries that can be bought from disreputable suppliers. Westcott, himself, makes this clear but not at the outset of the story, only near the end of his report.

He cited various fires connected to US flights and speculated on how many batteries might be carried on a fairly average flight considering that lithium batteries power laptops, tablets, e-books. Indeed just about anything electronic has a battery standby.

But as he quoted a CAA spokesman, batteries bought from established, supermarkets and suppliers are fine provided that they are carried and packed properly. It is thinks like some market sellers who offer multi-packs at cheap prices that supply the dodgy ones.

He reported that the CAA wold be preparing videos to train airline staff on how to deal with any fires and also to show passengers how to pack batteries in their luggage properly. Presumably this will be available from their website and media like YouTube at some stage. When it happens we will ask the CAA if we can display it on Just about Travel for you to watch.

In the meantime, being sensible in what you buy and from where you buy it should be fine. But, just as importantly, read all articles thoroughly before getting nervous about what just the opening sentences say!

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