RYANAIR has started warning passengers about problems that could arise from taking phones and laptops on flights.
The dangers of their electrical devices overheating in flight are considered so serious that they are included in the safety briefing before take-off.
The information has been added to the airline’s pre-flight safety message, as well as what to do in an emergency.
Passengers are requested to notify flight attendants if their device overheats or is lost in the seats.
The new message is believed to be now a more important part of the pre-flight briefing than the part about life jackets, with buoyancy aids only used in extreme circumstances.
Since aircraft overheating can cause fires on board, they are considered a more immediate threat than landing in water.
Almost every passenger on board will have at least one device containing a lithium-ion battery and some will have several.
However, with cheap batteries available online that may not meet safety standards, the risk of a phone, laptop or tablet overheating is a possibility.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which is responsible for flight safety in the UK, has previously warned of the risk posed by counterfeit batteries, saying they pose a “significant risk to flight safety”.
In a video created to demonstrate the danger posed by overheating electrical devices, the CAA says: “Any fire on board an aircraft, especially a fire involving lithium batteries, has the potential to be catastrophic.”
The CAA says fires caused by lithium-ion batteries may even be able to dodge fire safety systems on board planes, and that passengers should only get new batteries from trusted outlets.
They said: “Lithium batteries are very safe, but due to their high energy, if we don’t treat them with care or abuse them, they can ignite.
“It is also very important that you only buy replacement batteries from reputable sources, as poor quality or counterfeit batteries have been the cause of a number of aircraft fires.
“Although aircraft cargo holds are equipped with fire suppression systems, these may not be effective against lithium battery fires.”
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