Lithium Fire Bags are Not Enough

Ross Faith

October 18, 2016

While the lithium fire containment bags initially look like a solution for an onboard lithium battery fire in a personal electronic device (PED), we believe that its strength is its use after the fire is contained and there is only one way to extinguish this type fire safely. The LIFE Kit has the only method utilizing a biodegradable extinguishing agent that employs a new technology to extinguish reactive metal fires.

With regard to FAA guidance; the FAA makes the following two statements:

FAA SAFO 09013

  • WARNING: Do not attempt to pick up and move a smoking or burning device! Bodily injury may result.      
  • WARNING: 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.    

Clearly the FAA is warning against moving a burning or smoking device. With that in mind the only safe means to protect the aircraft and passengers is to extinguish the fire first. At this time most commercial airlines have no means to do this if they are limited to Halon extinguishers. The FAA suggests then to use water or a “non-alcoholic liquid” and in this case they are prompting the airlines to use a passenger beverage on a reactive metal fire.        

In the newly revised FAA Advisory Circular, AC 120-80A the FAA added “Aqueous-based fire extinguishing agent[s]” to the tools for use in a fire on         board. Firebane used in the LIFE Kit is the only aqueous based fire extinguishing agent currently on the market that is rated and meets the FAA         definition.

SpectrumFX’s suggestion is then to use the LIFE Kit to extinguish the fire and Aircare International’s FireSock™ for containment of the device         after extinguishing.

This video demonstrates the extinguishing capability         of the LIFE Kit in comparison to water.

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