The scary reason you shouldn't keep electric devices in overhead bins on planes | The Sun

PASSENGERS have been warned not to keep electronic devices in overhead lockers when flying on planes.

Devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops can all come in handy during flights, but they can also create a big risk.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration in America, airlines have to deal with at least one fire per week on board their planes because of devices not being stored correctly.

Issues arise during flights when batteries either overheat or get damaged in the overhead bins.

When this happens, the devices can easily catch fire, which is the last thing you want on board an aircraft mid-flight.

In 2022, there were at least 54 incidents in which devices, including laptops, phones, e-cigarettes and others, had to be extinguished for one reason or another in America alone.

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However the FAA say it's entirely possible that there are other occasions that they aren't aware of.

One recent incident involved an e-cigarette inside a passenger's checked luggage that was "smouldering" and emitting "a dangerous evolution of heat".

The FAA said in a report: “These are lithium battery related events involving smoke, fire, or extreme heat that the FAA is aware of and should not be considered a complete listing of all such incidents."

The advice from the FAA is to either keep devices with lithium ion batteries stored in their hand luggage, or to have them completely turned off if they're stored in checked luggage.

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They told Forbes: “Devices containing lithium metal batteries or lithium ion batteries, should be kept in carry-on baggage.

"If these devices are packed in checked baggage, they should be turned completely off, protected from accidental activation and packed so they are protected from damage.”

Overheating and damaged batteries are considered so much of a risk that they're now part of pre-flight safety demonstrations.

Passengers are warned to alert flight attendants if they lose their phones during a flight, rather than searching for them.

An experienced cabin crew member told Sun Online Travel: "All it takes is a crack in the wrong place on the phone and you've got flammable solvents exposed to the cabin, which can spark a fire.

"We know how the seats move and can be gentle with them while poking around in the crevices.

"Passengers aren't likely to be as accustomed to the seats as we are and it creates more of a risk if they're messing with the seat mechanisms while trying to recover their phones."

The Civil Aviation Authority, who are responsible for flight safety in the UK, has also warned people about counterfeit batteries before, saying they pose a "significant risk to flight safety".

In a video created to demonstrate the danger posed by overheating electrical devices, the CAA claim that: "Any fire on board an aircraft, particularly one involving lithium batteries, has the potential to be catastrophic."

The CAA say that fires caused by lithium-ion batteries may even be able to dodge fire safety systems on board aircraft, and that passengers should only get new batteries from trustworthy outlets.

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