Airlines are saving a fortune by carrying AvSax fire containment bags.
For every time an AvSax bag has been deployed on an aircraft after devices such as laptops or mobile phones have caught fire the plane has been able to continue its journey safely.
Other airlines without the bags have had to make costly diversions and emergency landings … and each one can cost up to $400,000.
AvSax is by far the best-selling airline fire containment product and there are now 15,373 AvSax on board aircraft operated by 80 airline companies worldwide.
AvSax – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the UK 2018 - has been used 32 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.
Battery fires on aircraft have become a serious hazard in recent years as passengers bring more personal electronic devices on board such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and e-cigarettes.
All are powered by lithium-ion batteries and faulty ones can go into what is known as thermal runaway. This 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. Incidents of thermal runaway are on the rise and it can happen if mobile phones get crushed in airline seats.
In 2019 the US banned lithium batteries from being taken as cargo on passenger aircraft. Passengers are prohibited from including batteries in luggage that is put in the hold – if they catch fire the sprinklers would struggle to cope with the intense heat of such a blaze. It must be taken into the passenger cabin so the crew can deal with any problems if the batteries overheat or catch fire.
There have been 268 incidents involving lithium batteries reported to the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA between 2006 and January 22, 2020,
AvSax are manufactured by Yorkshire company Environmental Defence Systems Ltd and managing director Richard Bailey said: “Airline companies have such confidence in AvSax it means they can deal with an incident and then continue their journey with the peace of mind the AvSax will completely contain the overheating device.”