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Fact Sheet – Lithium Batteries

For Immediate Release

August 28, 2018
Contact: Tammy Jones or Paul Takemoto
Phone: 202-267-3883

Lithium batteries, which power everyday items, can catch fire if damaged or exposed terminals are short-circuited.

Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries, including – but not limited to – smartphones, tablets, and laptops, should be kept in carry-on baggage. If these devices are packed in checked baggage, they should be turned completely off, protected from accidental activation and packed so they are protected from damage.

Spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium ion batteries, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices are prohibited in checked baggage. They must be carried with the passenger in carry-on baggage in the cabin. Smoke and fire incidents involving lithium batteries can be mitigated by the cabin crew and passengers inside the aircraft cabin.

If a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or planeside, spare lithium batteries, electronic cigarettes, and vaping devices must be removed from the baggage and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin. Even in carry-on baggage, these items should be protected from damage, accidental activation and short circuiting. The terminals on batteries not sealed in manufacturer packaging should be covered with tape and placed in separate bags to prevent short circuits.

Damaged, defective or recalled lithium batteries must not be carried in carry-on or checked baggage if they are likely to be a safety concern by overheating or catching on fire.

When in doubt, leave it out.

Check the FAA’s Pack Safe website for the rules on carrying these items.


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