Aviation Incidents Involving Batteries and Battery Powered DevicesAs of May 19, 2014, 144 confirmed air incidents involving batteries carried as cargo or baggage which have experienced Smoke, Fire, Extreme Heat or Explosion have been recorded since March 20, 1991.
Recalls of Batteries & Battery powered Devices
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission: official Federal Agency website from June 1, 2013 to June 1, 2014 there have been over 3 million recalls of batteries and battery powered devices due to Fire, smoke and explosion Hazards. . The batteries were installed in laptops, cell phones, cameras and video players, notebooks, phones, toys, flashlights, etc.
No matter how many safety features are included, defects will happen. Over the last decade there have been several high profile recalls of lithium-ion batteries. Nokia recalled 46 million cell phone batteries at risk of fire, smoke and exploding; Lenovo recalled 205,000 batteries, Nikon recalled over 200,000 batteries installed in digital cameras, Sony recalled 10 million batteries used in a variety of laptops. In most instances, the recall was due to design defects that allowed contaminates to prevent the safety features from working or were due to problems in the manufacturing of the batteries. These recalls were certified manufacturers who are monitored and must comply with strict regulations.
When a consumer is tasked with replacing a faulty battery or purchasing a spare battery for their Personal Electronic Device (i.e.-Laptop, tablet, camera, video camera, cell Phone, toy etc.) a majority of consumers opt for an in-expensive battery which can vary in price from 10 to 30 dollars compared to purchasing official OEM batteries which can range from 120 to 220 dollars. Where do these inexpensive batteries come from? How are they tested and monitored and by whom?
Counterfeit Personal Electronic Devices and Batteries
According to Homeland Security Counterfeit seizures report for 2013, over 24,361 individual seizures were made by Us Border patrol officers with an estimated value of $ 1,743,515,581. Over 5,656 individual seizures were made for Consumer Electronics Devices with a suggested retail value of $145,866,526 or 20% of the total seizures. Computers and accessories made up 1,062 seizures and 4% with a retail value of $47,731,513. These devices generally lack any type of thermal protection circuitry. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency)
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Major Findings Of Lithium-Ion Battery Testing
LITHIUM BATTERY FIRE TESTS - Harry Webster - FAA William J Hughes Technical Center