What to know about flying with lithium batteries

Loose lithium-ion batteries pose a danger when not properly stored during a flight, according to the FAA.

Lithium-ion batteries powers a great deal of our lives from phones to computers and even our cars.

The FAA said last month on a moving aircraft lithium batteries could be deadly. If loose batteries are left unattended, the batteries could overheat and burst into flames. The FAA reports that a fire in the confines of a cargo hold could spread quickly and overpower existing fire-suppression systems.

Road Warrior Voices picked out these tips for travelers from the FAA Safety Alert on lithium batteries.

Don’t bring loose batteries. Spare batteries have become an absolute no-no because of fires and explosions from electric contacts touching metal. If you need to keep power bars full, take a portable charger instead.

If you must take loose batteries with you, buy a special bag. You can get fireproof, explosion-proof pouches on Amazon for as little as $9. Alternatively, you can use individual plastic bags or wrap batteries in tape.

Checking your laptop and portable chargers are still okay. Most devices that use lithium batteries can go in the cargo, as long as the batteries aren’t loose. One exception is e-cigarettes which must always go carry-on.

If you can, keep your devices where you can see them. Lithium batteries are volatile, to put it lightly. According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 17 cases in the last 10 years of fires started in baggage compartments and cabins. Use that seat-back pocket so you always know if something is beginning to go wrong.

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