Mitigating the Potential Disaster of Battery Fires During Flight

Underwriters Laboratories convenes stakeholders to develop UL 5800—a safety standard for battery fire containment products for use on airplanes

Reducing the potential effects of some battery-related fires

Underwriters Laboratories was approached by representatives of the aviation industry to develop a safety standard test for containment products which would be used to contain lithium-ion battery fires and the related effects during flight. These containment products are intended to be used by authorized personnel on commercial, private and military aviation for portable electronic devices (PEDs) such as cellphones, tablets and laptops that are on fire or at risk of catching on fire in the cockpit or cabin.

 

As a result, the Standards Technical Panel (STP) of UL for Battery Fire Containment Products, STP 5800, was formed to be the consensus body in the UL Standards development process. The STP is comprised of organizations and individuals with interest or technical expertise in the subject category.

 

The Standard for Safety for Battery Fire Containment Products, UL 5800, is in development as a harmonized standard for the U.S. and Canada. Participants include international representatives from airlines, shipping companies and other aviation-related interests along with government bodies and containment product developers.

 

The initial scope of the standard is limited to aviation applications and excludes containment products intended for use with cargo shipments. The ease of use, training and personal protective equipment (PPE) is being considered for inclusion in the standard. Those factors will be part of a human interaction study being conducted by Emergo by UL, advisors and subject matter experts from UL Life & Health Sciences.

 

The resulting standard will be nationally recognized and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

 

Resource 1: UL 5800 on the UL Standards Sales Site

Fast Facts

  • A fire on an aircraft during flight can result in catastrophe if it isn’t contained quickly.
  • The failure of lithium-ion batteries in portable electronic devices (PEDs) can be a source of fire.
  • UL was approached by the aviation industry to develop a safety standard for products to contain PEDs which are smoking or on fire.
  • The UL 5800 Standards Technical Panel is comprised of representatives from the aviation industry, producers, government bodies and other interests.