Fire-containment Bags Don’t Snuff Fires

 - December 6, 2011, 4:30 PM

AINalerts reported last week that fire-containment bags, like those sold by Aircare Access and Ship It AOG, can snuff out lithium-battery fires. However, although these bags insulate the burning appliance, the lithium-battery fire can continue, according to Martin Hamilton, Aircare v-p of business development. Aircare teaches that battery defects can lead to cell failure, which results in thermal runaway. Once one cell burns, the heat can cause adjacent cells to overheat and eventually explode. Putting the burning device into a containment bag will allow the fire and explosions to continue. The better way to deal with battery fires, he said, is to stop the thermal runaway first, by spraying the fire with Halon or dousing it with water. Then put the device into the containment bag. FCB 1200 LLC developed a fire-containment bag three years ago, and president Randy Steenholdt worries that the FAA is not considering that many laptops with magnesium frames are being carried on long overwater flights and remote routes without any protection other than Halon and water. “If magnesium catches fire, it will keep burning,” he warned. Hamilton and Steenholdt recommend keeping laptops in containment bags as a precaution, especially on ETOPS trips. An in-flight fire due to lithium laptop batteries is inevitable, Steenholdt believes, and when a tragedy happens, “the FAA will finally react.”

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mike's picture

I just bought a Hot Stop L Fire-Fighter Fire Containment Bag from All Hands Fire Equipment: http://www.allhandsfire.com/fire-containment-bag

It's very high quality, the right size for a laptop or other small electronics fire. I definitely recommend one for anyone looking for protection against Lithium-Ion Battery fires on an aircraft.

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