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Laptops in cargo areas pose fire risk for plane passengers

If you are among the many New Yorkers who regularly fly with a laptop computer, know that it can pose a serious safety risk if you store it in your checked luggage, as opposed to taking in onboard as a carry-on. Alarming new research suggests that laptops stored in carry-on luggage can ignite, if stored near aerosol cans or certain types of cosmetics. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we understand that this and other airplane safety risks pose serious, substantial threats to passengers, and we have helped many clients who suffered injury due to airplane-related accidents pursue appropriate recourse.

Per the New York Post, the new research about the fire risks laptop batteries pose contradicts a previous prevailing belief that the flame-retardant gas stored in airline cargo areas would be than enough to eliminate a fire caused by a lithium battery. While common in laptops, lithium batteries are also present in many gaming devices, cellphones and the like.

The research also raises questions about a move the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made last year, when it encouraged the storing of laptops and other lithium battery devices in cargo areas due to a fear that such devices could conceal bombs. Other efforts to eliminate the storage of lithium battery devices larger than a cellphone in airplane cargo areas have proven unsuccessful.

Just how much of a threat do lithium batteries in cargo areas pose to passengers? The Federal Aviation Administration reports that even a single explosion from a lithium battery, if stored next to certain cargo, could be enough to down an entire aircraft. You can find out more about airplane safety and accidents on our webpage.


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