There have been dozens of fires sparked by laptops, mobile phones and other personal electronic devices on planes in recent years.

Now a blog features the stories behind many of them and is thought to be one of the most comprehensive blogs of its type in the world.

It has been written and compiled by professional journalist Andy Hirst (  and appears on the website of the company behind the AvSax fire containment bags (

AvSax  – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 - has been used 28 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.

More than 13,000 AvSax are now carried on aircraft operated by 65 airline companies across the world – including some of the biggest and best-known.

Andy said: “I started the blog a couple of years ago and quickly realised it would be very useful for the aircraft industry to keep up-to-date with the incidents involving personal electronic devices as and when they happen along with the reasons why lithium-ion batteries sometimes go faulty.

“Many are highlighted by Curt Lewis and Associates in the USA who specialise in aviation and industrial safety. Their daily report reveals all the many kinds of incidents which happen on aircraft but I thought it was well worth filing the stories behind incidents involving lithium-ion batteries in one place … and that place is the blog on the AvSax website.

“Some have been bizarre, especially the curious case of a woman's headphones catching fire on a plane which is thought to have been sparked by a faulty lithium-ion battery. She was dozing on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne when she was woken by the sound of an explosion while she listened to music.

“She tore the headphones off to find them sparking, catching fire and beginning to melt. She was left with a blackened face and blisters on her hands.”

This followed Samsung’s major problem in 2016 when malfunctioning batteries in Samsung's Note 7 caused many of the smartphones to overheat, catch fire and melt. The phones were recalled by the company.

Other fires are caused when mobile phones become trapped in seats and when passengers adjust them to try to retrieve their phones they can become crushed, causing them to catch fire. This is why cabin crew now specifically warn passengers in safety briefings not to try to find their mobile phones if they lose them down their seats.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the USA has reported 225 battery incidents happening in cargo or baggage since 1991 and many of these involved lithium batteries. Ominously, of those, 46 were reported in 2017.

* Written by Andy Hirst at AH! PR