Why this device commonly taken on flights must be packed VERY carefully - otherwise it could 'explode'

Why this device commonly taken on flights must be packed VERY carefully - otherwise it could 'explode' MailOnline logo

Holidaymakers have been warned that one common item, often kept in their pockets, could pose a fire risk on planes if not handled with care.

Vapes, also known as e-cigarettes, are used by around 82million people worldwide, and so are taken on millions of flights.

But many fliers may be unaware of the danger they pose - and the rules and regulations surrounding their use and transportation during plane journeys.

Here we present the do’s and don’ts.

Fire risk means vapes must go in the cabin

The fire risk from vapes comes from their lithium batteries. They are used to heat the coil component of the device that heats the e-liquid, with the process creating vapour that users breathe in.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) explains: ‘Lithium batteries are very safe, but because of their high energy, if they are not treated with care or if they are abused or have a manufacturing fault, they can catch fire or explode.

'Batteries have been the cause of a number of fires on board aircraft and during ground handling.’

In 2016 a bag caught fire as it was loaded onto an aeroplane. It was revealed to have been set alight by a vape battery.

And in 2019, a passenger’s e-cigarette battery overheated and exploded, causing a fire to break out on an American Airlines flight.

The risk of an incendiary incident means vapes should be transported in the cabin and not checked in to the hold, where a fire is far more difficult to deal with.

The CAA adds that passengers may travel with 'battery-powered electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems) but that the 'content of Lithium metal batteries must not exceed two grams’ and that lithium batteries must not exceed a Watt hour rating of 100 Wh.

Separate the batteries, switch off the device – and never charge it

David Phillips, from Vape Superstore, stresses that spare batteries in carry-on luggage 'must be individually wrapped to prevent a short-circuit’ and that the device 'must be switched off completely'.

Charging them mid-flight, meanwhile, is forbidden, the CAA states.

Phillips says: ‘The best thing to do is to ensure your vape is fully charged prior to your flight, and that you don’t run it down before boarding the plane.

'Check the airport’s online policy to find out if, and where, you can charge your device pre-flight.’

He adds: ‘Vaping on a plane falls under the same laws as smoking and you could face severe penalties and fines if you do so.

‘It is not a good idea to risk vaping in the toilet, as airlines have installed detectors that will pick up not only cigarette smoke but e-cigarette vapour as well.'

Detach the fuel tank

E-cigarettes have a small tank that holds the e-liquid.

Vaping company Go Smoke Free recommends separating this tank from the device for flights as changes in air pressure in the cabin can cause the tank to leak.

It said: 'The tank should be emptied and detached from the main device if possible and stored in a separate clear plastic bag.'

Don’t exceed 100ml in e-liquids

Phillips said: ‘You can bring e-liquids with you on a plane in your carry-on luggage, so long as the total amount you carry with you doesn’t exceed 100ml. You can pack any additional e-liquid in your checked-in luggage.’

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