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Fire Safety on Aircraft

Mitigating the Risk of Fire on Aircraft

On average, a lithium battery catches fire on an aircraft once every ten days. The problem has grown exponentially in the last few years because of the huge growth in both the number of devices that use lithium batteries and the number of people who use them. Prescott is working hard to mitigate the risk of fire caused by lithium batteries.

How the FAA Has Responded

The FAA is also working hard on the problem - for example, prohibiting the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone from passenger and cargo aircraft. The FAA has also issued a number of regulations to protect travelers and operators. Passengers are required to have access at all times to all of their devices that use lithium batteries, and these devices may not be stowed with cargo. To extinguish a lithium-ion battery fire on an aircraft, you must have access to the device. 

The FAA also recommends procedures for fighting a lithium-battery fire in two phases: (1) extinguishing the fire, and (2) cooling the remaining cells to stop thermal runaway. The FAA has two warnings about fighting these fires on an aircraft: 

  • Do not attempt to pick up and move a smoking or burning device.
  • Do not cover the device or use ice to cool the device. Ice or other materials insulate the device, increasing the likelihood that additional battery cells will reach thermal runaway.

How Prescott Is Mitigating the Risk

At Prescott, we are constantly enhancing our processes, technologies, training, and tools to mitigate this risk. We now use the Aircare FireSock™ Battery Risk Management System, a commercial innovation that enables the crew to safely stow the damaged device in a fireproof sock. Also, we have aligned all of our activities with the December 2017 FAA notice, “Procedures for Fighting In-Flight Fires Associated with Portable Electronic Devices and Lithium Batteries When Using Commercially Marketed Containment Products.”  

Throughout our history, we have taken a proactive approach to safety. Our corporate commitment to safety from top to bottom is the reason we have never had an accident. As the risk of fire continues to grow, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our passengers and operators.

Jul 24, 2018
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