Lithium Battery Fire

Lithium Battery fire and overheating conditions

Our safety specialists discuss

"Laptop battery fire forces United flight to land hospitalizes 4"

- The Washington Post, 7th February 2023

What do you do...

When a lithium battery fire and overheating conditions occur on an aircraft?

What are the 10 QUESTIONS to CONSIDER

When an Airline or Charter operator is mapping their first line of defence:

  1. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE – Does your airline have robust Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to counter a lithium battery fire or overheating condition on board an aircraft?
  2. ADEQUATE TRAINING – Are your flight deck and cabin crew appropriately trained?
  3. FLIGHT DECK CREW – If you are a non-scheduled/charter operator without cabin crew, what procedures will the flight deck crew follow to manage a lithium battery fire or thermal overheating on board the aircraft?
  4. SINGLE PILOT – If it is a single pilot operation, what procedures will the pilot follow to manage the situation?
  5. FIRST ACTION – What are your first actions in the event of an overheating lithium battery?
  6. FAA-RECOMMENDED STEPS – What are the two FAA-recommended steps to follow in the event of a lithium battery fire?
  7. BEST TYPE OF EXTINGUISHER – What is the best type of extinguisher to use for a lithium battery fire – halon, water, or both types?
  8. COVER – May I cover the overheating battery/device with a blanket or put it in a bucket of ice to cool it down?
  9. WHEN – When do I put the battery/device in a burn bag? While it is smoking hot or after I have cooled it down?
  10. DANGEROUS GOODS – Is your crew aware of the provisions for dangerous goods carried by passengers or crew as documented in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations table 2.3.A?