All these personal electronic devices are powered by lithium ion batteries All these personal electronic devices are powered by lithium ion batteries An AvSax fire containment bag An AvSax fire containment bag

The thousands of ‘hidden’ fire hazards in offices that everyone takes to work 

A pioneering fire containment bag used on aircraft is now available for businesses to deal with an increasing fire risk in their offices from electronic devices ranging from e-cigarettes and headphones to tablets and laptops.

Office blocks will have thousands of electronic items in them all powered by lithium ion batteries which means there is always a risk they could catch fire.

This danger is taken very seriously on board aircraft where a fire in such a confined space can be catastrophic.

But many people don’t realise this hazard is also in offices and the danger is greater in high rise buildings. Fires caused by lithium ion batteries burn at horrifically high temperatures and even though people think they have doused them they can flare up again and quickly spread.

This is known as thermal runaway and happens when one cell in a battery overheats it can produce enough heat – up to 900°C (1652°F) – to cause adjacent cells to overheat. This can cause a lithium battery fire to flare repeatedly even to the point of flames shooting out of the side. The fires can be very unpredictable. Even after the fire in the device seems to be out there may be damage to a battery cell that can cause the fire to re-ignite and they can flare up again even 10 minutes later.

This is solved by putting the overheating or burned electronic device into an AvSax fire containment bag. If the overheating stops the way the AvSax works means the device will be undamaged and you'll be able to use it again to retrieve vital data. 

Lithium-ion battery fires can be sparked by all kinds of reasons from manufacturing defects within the lithium battery to cheap lithium batteries and chargers that fail to meet safety standards.

Over the years several manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung have recalled millions of batteries because of potential explosions caused by manufacturing defects.

London Fire Brigade attends on average 24 fires each week that have been started by batteries, chargers or cables.

AvSax are the world’s best-selling aircraft fire containment bags by far and are now on more than 15,373 aircraft operated by 80 airline companies. They have been used 32 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017 and every time they have been deployed the aircraft has been able to complete its journey safely with no need to divert or make an emergency landing.

AvSax won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the UK in 2018 and were designed by Environmental Defence Services Ltd based in Yorkshire, UK.

EDS managing director Richard Bailey said: “We are getting an increasing number of inquiries from businesses wanting to use AvSax in their offices. After all, a fire in an office, especially a high rise one, can be disastrous. Everyone owns several personal electronic devices which means there must be thousands – if not tens of thousands – of devices in the average office block. That’s potentially a serious fire risk.

“Once the item is in the AvSax the danger has gone. Even if the worst happens and it explodes it will be fully contained within the bag.”

Even vaping pens can be a problem and more than 2,000 explosions and burn injuries caused by e-cigarettes were recorded between 2015 and 2017.

A 17-year-old boy from Nevada was left with serious facial injuries that looked like a gunshot wound after a vape pen exploded in his mouth. He lost several teeth and X-rays later revealed he also had a crack in his jawbone with the case reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A 25-year-old man from Tennessee, USA, needed 65 stitches in serious facial wounds after an e-cigarette exploded in his face.

A faulty battery is thought to have caused a woman’s headphones to catch fire on a plane.

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.

The passenger was left with a blackened face and blisters on her hands. It is thought a fault with lithium-ion batteries was the likely cause.

There have been several cases of laptops or battery chargers catching fire and exploding.

It happened to American DJ White Panda who noticed smoke starting to spiral from his laptop so he put it down onto the floor. Seconds later it popped and caught fire, damaging the wooden floor.

White Panda told online music website Mashable: “It was literally like when someone throws a smoke grenade and it lands and starts shooting out all sides. Out of nowhere smoke was pouring out of both sides of the computer. It was so much smoke, so instantaneously.”

According to Mashable, White Panda took the laptop to a nearby Apple Store where he was told the laptop would need to be kept in a fireproof safe for 24 hours.

That’s just why AvSax would be so useful as they could contain an unstable device right where the incident happened. The AvSax is strong enough to contain a large battery charger even if it explodes once it’s put into the bag.

For more information contact AvSax via or phone 01484 641009.