Laptops could be banned from checked luggage because of fire risk

21 Oct

Passengers could be banned from putting laptop computers into their checked luggage because of the fire risk.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will consider calls for a ban submitted by the US Federal Aviation Administration when its dangerous goods panel meets later this month.

According to the FAA, the lithium-ion  batteries in laptops could overheat and potentially ignite aerosol cans which can often be found in the same suitcase.

The fear is that a fire in the hold could have catastrophic consequences, including the potential loss of an aircraft.

The FAA says that its call for a ban is backed by the European Aviation Safety Agency,

In all 10 tests were carried out by the FAA on laptops packed inside a suitcase, with a heater placed against the computer’s battery.

In one a case of shampoo was strapped to a laptop, The battery swiftly caught fire and the aerosol exploded within 40 seconds.

An array of commonly packed items are flammable including nail polish remover and hand sanitiser.

The move is entirely separate from the proposals earlier this year to ban electronic devices – such as computers and iPads – from flights from the Middle East and North Africa because of terrorism fears.

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