Someone's backpack containing a camera with a lithium ion battery exploded and started smoking. Not knowing what caused the noise, some thinking it was a gunshot, people fled from the terminal

A security officer Ricado Perez — a 20-year army veteran, ran towards the bag, picked it up and placed it in a location away from people.

"When I picked up that bag, I did think, 'Yep, this is it," Perez told WESH 2. "And so I did what I had to do. It could've happened, but it didn't. So I live to do it again."

Lithium ion batteries are in cameras, cellphones, hoverboards, and more. How safe are they? Should they be allowed on planes? What would we do if they were not allowed? OMG!


By nature, lithium-ion batteries are dangerous. Inside, the main line of defense against short circuiting is a thin and porous slip of polypropylene that keeps the electrodes from touching. If that separator is breached, the electrodes come in contact, and things get very hot very quickly. The batteries are also filled with a flammable electrolyte, one that can combust when it heats up, then really get going once oxygen hits it. Not scary enough? That liquid is mixed with a compound that can burn your skin.

There can be production flaws, design flaws, user-inflicted damage, and problems with the charger. "Even if a gadget is designed well, dropping it and subjecting it to long-term wear and tear can do damage to its volatile power source." "Think twice about picking up a cheap, no-name charging cable if you left yours at home. "

I dropped my phone a couple of months ago. It still worked, so okay. Then I found out the WiFi was no longer working, still okay. Then I found out it was acting really weird when charging on the wireless charger, so I changed to a plug-in charger. Again, okay. Finally it quit altogether during an update install. I got another phone. My MotoZ phone (old/broken and new) has a removable battery to give longer charge times. The new phone continues to have problems charging on the wireless charger.
Now I have to wonder if the battery had gotten damaged when it dropped. Maybe I'll have to replace the removable battery as well. Don't want any explosions.

BoB W.'s picture

battery failure

Battery containment bags are available starting at $8 on AMAZON to several hundred $. For some of the best, see Some of these are FAA approved. Some Googleing should return a moderately priced bag.

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