Lithium Ion Battery on Plane Can Overheat and Explode

Deke Ezekoye has conducted extensive tests over eight years to examine devices powered by lithium batteries – such as cell phones, laptops and hoverboards – and how they may overheat or catch fire. He demonstrated to CBS News that even though lithium batteries can be safe when properly placed into devices like cell phones or laptops, they still possess potential to overheat and explode if left in their original devices for too long.


There are many things you should keep in mind when traveling with lithium batteries, such as checking airline rules for each flight you take and making sure that they are safely stored and easily accessible. This will help avoid any complications during security checks while making sure they remain safe throughout their trip. In addition, cover any loose terminals with tape to prevent short circuits. Lastly, always have some water handy just in case there’s an incident with your batteries!

Lithium-ion batteries pose a safety risk to airplanes as their overheating could result in fires or explosions if one fails, given their design: multiple small cells connected by metal conductors can overheat and lead to thermal runaway, leading to smoke and fire in an aircraft cargo hold that can significantly damage it while endangering passenger lives.

Lithium-ion battery rules for travel are relatively new, but their purpose is clear: to reduce risks associated with plane fires caused by lithium battery fires. Their development was spurred on by several plane accidents linked to lithium battery fires – including that of UPS cargo jet in 2006. FAA lithium-ion battery rules should not prove too burdensome, and most travelers can comply without issue; but remember, risk associated with flying with lithium-ion batteries may increase if you do not abide by them.

An air cargo fire can be devastating for an airline and could result in serious injuries to both passengers and crew members. Flight attendants would need to quickly evacuate the aircraft in an enclosed space in case a battery fire starts burning inside, which may spread quickly to other areas and lead to loss of control of it all.

To minimize battery fire risks, it is wise to keep lithium-ion batteries out of carry-on luggage and store them properly; keep their original packaging where possible and place them inside a protective bag to guard against punctures or abrasions. Also ensure they are away from metal objects which could spark and ignite before travelling with lithium-ion batteries. Check airline and destination country rules prior to packing these in your luggage.


Lithium batteries are used in many electronic devices and pose a potential fire hazard when transported on planes, prompting aviation authorities to issue strict rules regulating air travel with lithium batteries, including both their electronic devices as well as batteries themselves. Passengers traveling by airline should familiarize themselves with these regulations to prepare accordingly and to protect their batteries against thermal runaway.

Lithium metal or lithium alloy batteries are now restricted from checked luggage on most US airlines, both spares and replacement batteries, as well as devices utilizing them such as laptops, smartphones and TV production equipment. The regulations were implemented after several incidents involving lithium-ion battery fires aboard passenger aircraft caused major disruptions for passengers as well as leading to the deaths of flight crew members and major disruptions for flights.

Concerns surrounding lithium batteries lie with their tendency to overheat and experience thermal runaway, a chemical reaction which leads them to explode or catch fire, due to overcharging, exposure to water or improper packing conditions that increase fire or explosion risks. There are various measures available to combat thermal runaway such as battery management systems (BMS) with cell-balancing features to protect against thermal runaway and reduce risks in aircraft cabins significantly.

No matter the regulations, lithium batteries can still be transported on board an airplane if they are in good condition and remain inside your carry-on bag. To protect them, keep them in their original packaging if possible and place them inside a plastic bag or container; loose terminals should be covered with tape to prevent short circuits.

Finally, when packing spare batteries for your journey, be sure to only bring enough to meet the specific requirements of your trip. This will reduce the chances of an accident or fire occurring during transit as well as help keep within airline allowance for carry-on baggage.

Fire risk

Lithium battery fires have the potential to quickly spread across an aircraft’s cabin and cargo bay, and even cause it to explode if left uncharged or improperly stored or charged, or are damaged through impact. Airlines therefore implement stringent guidelines when it comes to transporting and storing lithium batteries on board aircrafts, and it’s crucial that passengers know about how these batteries may catch fire.

Lithium ion batteries pose one of the greatest threats to aviation: thermal runaway. This process occurs when their internal temperature increases significantly, leading to cells melting and igniting; in such an instance on board an aircraft this could result in an explosion that damages it as well as its passengers.

Lithium battery fires can be difficult to extinguish. To combat them effectively, the best strategy is to cool it down and contain it; FAA recommends using a combination of halon and water as their toxic vapor can lead to mucous membrane burns and should therefore be put out quickly and efficiently.

Lithium ion batteries pose another significant danger: fire. Their fires can result from being vulnerable to impacts that cause their cells to expand and short-circuit, and can make damage difficult to detect until it’s too late – hence why it is essential that airlines follow rules regarding storage and packing these batteries.

The FAA recently implemented lithium battery guidelines as a result of several crashes caused by fires involving these batteries onboard aircraft, most frequently in response to devices like e-cigarettes and laptop computers on board which resulted in them. Sometimes these fires became so intense that emergency landings had to take place to escape further destruction.

Though aviation has never been safer, two hazards have increased dramatically: drone strikes and battery fires. Although less prevalent than you’d think, battery fires pose serious threats to passengers onboard flights; therefore it is crucial that everyone onboard learn about the various ways batteries may become flammable, and what actions to take in case this occurs.


Lithium batteries have the potential to overheat and explode under certain conditions, creating a potential fire hazard and endangering both aircraft and passengers. Fires caused by lithium batteries can be difficult to extinguish and cause lasting damage; as a result, airlines and regulatory bodies have issued guidelines for transporting them safely – following them can help avoid accidents during travel and keep your batteries safe from injury.

If possible, keep your batteries in their original packaging to protect them and enhance safety. If this is impossible, place them in a ziploc bag so as to reduce risk of leakage or short circuiting and make identification of standard batteries easier.

As well as keeping batteries in their original packaging, care should also be taken not to crush them. Crushing batteries can lead to overheating and ignition; this dangerous condition is known as thermal runaway and may occur as a result of physical damage, short circuiting, or extreme temperatures.

Your batteries can also be protected from damage by not overcharging them, which not only increases their risk of exploding but can lead to other issues like overheating and short circuiting. Furthermore, store them away from extreme hot or cold temperatures which will accelerate their loss of charge as well as cause internal components damage.

YouTube videos of devices, like hoverboards and headphones bursting into flames is not uncommon, showing just how dangerous lithium batteries can be. But it is important to keep in mind that such incidents are extremely rare.

Lithium batteries have become an indispensable part of modern devices and our daily lives – from laptops and cell phones to medical implants and more. While lithium-ion batteries make our lives more convenient and comfortable, they come with their own risks that must be considered when making purchases. It is therefore essential that consumers are informed about these potential dangers in order to make well-informed choices regarding purchase decisions.

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