As the fervor surrounding the potentially deadly dangers of consuming e-cigarettes and other vape items subsides somewhat, a further e-cig scare is getting into the spotlight. This time, nonetheless, the concern is not what folks are inhaling, but the device itself. Inexpensive, poorly-produced vape pens and e-cigs usually use low-cost, poorly-produced lithium-ion batteries. And these batteries have a knack for catching on fire. Some have even blown up in people’s faces. That is why the president of the Association of Flight Attendants desires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ban e-cigarettes from planes completely.
The FAA currently bans travelers from placing transportable devices with lithium-ion batteries in their checked luggage. But travelers can nonetheless carry them in their carry-on bags and individual products. Flight attendants want that rule to adjust. They say frequent battery-sparked fires are turning them into emergency firefighters. And they’re worried that the subsequent fire could be catastrophic.
E-Cig and Vape Batteries Are Catching Fire on Airplanes
Flaming batteries have produced it into the news ahead of. Famously, the FAA banned travelers from carrying Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to a widespread concern with them catching on fire. But lithium-batteries are in every thing these days, in practically every single device folks use and carry. They also differ broadly in terms of high-quality and reliability, with the least expensive ones prone to what technicians get in touch with “thermal runaway.” The battery begins to heat up, cannot quit, and ultimately catches fire or explodes. Place otherwise, these batteries are every single prospective incendiary devices or explosives. Not what any person desires to assume about at 30,000 feet.
The FAA does have policies and regulations in spot to decrease the dangers connected with low-cost rechargeable batteries. In reality, if you ever ship an item with a lithium-ion battery, carriers are expected to ship it by means of ground transportation. But passengers can nonetheless take batteries on the plane with them. It would be challenging to implement a policy banning everyone’s phones, tablets, computer systems, headphones, and so forth.
To place the concern in viewpoint, the FAA says it has received at least 265 reports of incidents involving batteries—since 1991. That information lists some 50 e-cigarette associated smoke or fire incidents at airports or on planes. That quantity exceeds the quantity of reported incidents for laptops and tablets, battery chargers, spare batteries and cell phones.
FAA Signals It Will not Ban E-Cigarettes In spite of Union Request
The FAA calls for flight attendants to obtain firefighting instruction so they can manage battery fires on a flight. Usually, dealing with a fire suggests tossing a smoking or flaming device into a fire-retardant bag. In the luggage hold, nonetheless, planes’ fire extinguishing systems are not robust sufficient to place out the intense heat from a flaming lithium-ion battery. “How about we just not have these e-cigarettes on the plane at all,” Association of Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson told CBS News.
The Flight Security Foundation agrees that the low-cost lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes pose a significant concern. But the organization also believes a ban wouldn’t make sense. The FAA concurs. “Because of the wide range of battery problems that can take place, it is essential that airlines have the flexibility to assess and address the dangers involved in every single person scenario,” an FAA spokesperson told “CBS This Morning.”
So far, there have been no catastrophic incidents involving batteries catching fire on airplanes. But with e-cigarettes, warn concerned flight attendants, it is only a matter of time. Amid ongoing efforts to cut down vape-associated illnesses and deaths, the danger of a significant incident involving e-cig devices appears like a relevant concern. For now, nonetheless, the FAA is nonetheless letting travelers take their vape and e-cig devices on planes.