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CAA U.K. warns: electronic devices in seat mechanism pose fire hazard
8 December 2016

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a Safety Alert, warning for the fire hazard that electronic devices pose when stuck in aircraft seats.

According to the CAA there have been a small number of incidents recently of phones and tablets catching fire on board aircraft. Causes included crushing in the aircraft seat mechanism. Lithium batteries, in use in post smartphones, tablets and other electronics are known to overheat or catch fire when damaged.

The CAA says that operators of aircraft with seats featuring electrical or mechanical means of adjusting position should consider briefing passengers to take care of their personal electronic devices. Passengers should also be told that, if this happens, they should not move the seat and inform the cabin crew, who can assist. Cabin crew procedures should be amended accordingly, including an explanation that assistance from engineering may be needed on the ground.

More information:

ASN Safety issue: lithium battery safety