Least wanted dangerous goods
Lost and damaged smartphones have topped our ‘least wanted’ dangerous goods list for the first time, with an increasing number of passengers accidently crushing their phone with the reclining mechanism of their seat.
The growing rate of these incidents, resulting in the damaged battery going into thermal runaway and igniting a fire, has seen major carriers review chair designs and update safety videos; warning passengers not to move their seat if they lose their electronic device.
Every year, we name the ‘least wanted’ dangerous goods in Australian skies, highlighting how everyday items carried by the travelling public can pose a risk to aviation safety.
The top ten least wanted for 2016 are:
- Lost and damaged smartphones
- Spare batteries and portable power packs
- Chainsaws, whipper snippers and other devices with internal combustion engines
- Gas cylinders and camping stoves
- Paint and paint related products
- Nail polish remover (Acetone)
- Compressed oxygen
- Lighters and matches
Passengers packing spare and loose batteries into checked luggage remains a constant threat to aviation safety despite widespread warnings. The most serious of these breaches occurred in 2014 when undeclared lithium batteries short-circuited in a passenger’s checked bag, igniting a fire in the aircraft’s cargo hold before passengers boarded the flight from Melbourne to Fiji.
It’s for this reason that all spare batteries not contained within equipment must be in carry-on luggage with their terminals protected. At no point are spare batteries, regardless of size, allowed in checked luggage.
Hoverboards made the list for the first time in 2016, with passengers still packing the self-balancing scooter in luggage despite widespread warnings about the lack of manufacturing standards of these devices; believed to have caused several fires around the world since.
The other notable inclusion on the list is compressed oxygen, with passengers requiring oxygen for medical purposes failing to contact their airline before travelling, causing delays and running the risk of missing their flight.
While medically required oxygen canisters are allowed on aircraft, travellers must gain approval from their operator before flying so the airline can ensure cylinders, valves or regulators fitted on the cylinder are protected from damage.
To help educate the travelling public about the dangers associated with these items, we released the ‘Can I pack that?’ Dangerous Goods App in 2014, telling passengers what they can and can’t pack in their luggage. And, if it can be brought aboard, guide them on how to do it safely.
You can find more information about dangerous goods below:
- Can I pack that? Dangerous goods app - This helps travellers work out what they can and can’t pack in their luggage, and if an item can be brought on board, how to do it safely.
- Battery safety - This page has information on how to travel with batteries and how to protect against short-circuiting as well as calculating watt-hours.
- Dangerous goods page - This page has general information about dangerous goods and how they can be transported.