Perhaps unsurprisingly, more airlines have announced their intentions to begin carrying ‘Fire Containment’ bags for overheating mobile devices that may be in danger of spontaneously combusting, as standard.
The extra security step is being taken to prevent a possible disaster in the event any passenger device with a lithium ion battery catches fire during a flight.
So far at least three U.S. airlines have decided to add the new fire-suppression equipment to all scheduled flights in case a cell phone or laptop battery overheats, catches fire, and the flames can’t be extinguished.
Alaska Airlines became one of the first airlines to deploy fire-containment bags on its entire fleet back in May. The Seattle-based airline finished adding them as standard to its fleet 219 planes in May.
The Federal Aviation Administration has taken the unusual step of warning passengers not to use or charge the devices while on board and not to stow them in checked luggage.
The issue has taken on a new urgency following the recent incidents of overheating Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, memorably including one on a Southwest Airlines flight at the beginning of this month. Samsung has now recalled its Galaxy Note 7 across the globe for going up in flames in several instances, even after a software update stopped the battery from being charged any more than 60% of its maximum capacity. The FAA had previously banned fliers from powering on the Galaxy Note 7 during flight. The bags however have not been designed with the Samsung Note 7 solely in mind.
The bright red fire containment bags are made of a fire-resistant material and are designed to hold electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops overheat and catch fire.
The bags can be shut with Velcro and heavy-duty zippers and can withstand temperatures up to 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Individually, the fire proof bags sell for $1,800 each but airlines are likely to have received large discounts for ordering in bulk.