191 Lithium Battery Incidents Reported Since 1991

By February 20, 2018 January 29th, 2020 Safety, IATA and ICAO

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Airport Lithium Battery Incidents

In our dangerous goods world we all know the importance of labelling, packaging, and disposing of lithium batteries. As many of you know we offer training, consultation, packaging, and re-packaging for shipping lithium batteries, and for good reason. While lithium batteries are becoming more and more prevalent in our society, so are the risks involved, like the video below:

According to the FAA as of January 24, 2018, there were 191 air/airport incidents involving lithium batteries carried as cargo or baggage that have been recorded since March 20, 1991.

And just to clarify, these are just the recent cargo and baggage incidents that the FAA is aware of. Most of these incidents included smoke, fire, extreme heat or explosion involving lithium batteries or unknown battery types. Incidents have included devices such as E-cigarettes, laptops, cell phones, and tablets. The severity of these incidents ranged from minor injuries to emergency landings.

Visit FAA’s website for the complete list of incidents:

https://www.faa.gov/ (PDF)

Note: This list does not include three major aircraft accidents where lithium battery cargo shipments were implicated but not proven to be the source of the fire.

What can we do to prevent these incidents?

The following precautions should be taken when traveling with devices containing lithium batteries:

  • Never travel with a device with a damaged or defective battery.
  • Make sure battery is properly installed in your device. Batteries properly installed in their devices pose less of a fire risk as long as they are recharged properly.

If you’re traveling with a Spare battery, protect them from damage and short circuiting.

This can be accomplished by:

  • Placing the spare batteries in their original retail packaging;
  • Placing tape over the terminals of the battery to insulate them or place each battery in a separate plastic or protective pouch.

Note: Spare batteries may not be placed in checked baggage. Loose batteries not protected from short circuit are not permitted to be carried in any part of the aircraft.

For More Questions about Lithium Batteries Please Contact ICC Compliance Center at 888-442-9628 in the USA and 888-977-4834 in Canada.



Michael Zendano

Michael Zendano

Michael Zendano started with ICC Compliance Center back in 2016 with several years in the packaging field as a Quality Control Manager. In addition, he has 8 years experience in teaching. Michael works at the Niagara Falls Office as the Regulatory Packaging Expert where he manages packaging projects and procedures and is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IOPP) and The Chemical Packaging Committee (CPC) . Degrees: M.S. Science of Education.

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