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Air passengers warned over dangerous luggage

CAA says what you can and can't carry onboard


woman and luggage

Check for new luggage allowances

Holidaymakers preparing to jet abroad this summer are being reminded not to carry everyday items which could be dangerous on board planes.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is warning air passengers of the fire risks posed by certain products.

Earlier this year a fire started in an aircraft’s overhead locker shortly after take off from New York’s JFK Airport.

It is believed that the fire was caused by a battery in an overhead locker, carried on board by a cameraman, which had short-circuited and overheated.

Battery fire

Geoff Leach, Manager of the Dangerous Goods Office at the CAA, said: ‘The majority of passengers are very careful when packing their luggage and know which items can and cannot be taken on board.

‘Whilst we are all made aware of the security restrictions imposed, passengers still need to be reminded that some items, which are relatively innocuous in everyday use, are capable of posing a serious risk to the occupants of an aircraft, no matter where they are carried.’

He added: ‘One issue is the danger of fire from inappropriately packed batteries and battery powered devices. Passengers frequently travel with electronic gadgets and, although the batteries in these rarely pose a safety problem, if they are loose or the equipment is inadvertently activated there is a danger of fire.’

Cigarette lighters

Dangerous goods that must not be taken on board are:

  • explosives, such as fireworks, flares, toy gun caps
  • gases, such as culinary blowtorches, camping or compressed gas cylinders
  • flammable materials such as petrol, lighter fuel, paint thinners, non-safety matches, firelighters
  • poisons, such as weed killers, insecticides
  • corrosives, such as filled car batteries.

Cigarette lighters are only allowed ‘on the person’ but are not permitted in passenger baggage, as they are flammable.

Hair curlers

Goods that may be carried by passengers include:

  • gas powered hair curlers (one per person), provided the safety cover is fitted at all times. Separate refills are not permitted
  • safety matches or a single lighter when carried on the person. One lighter per person may be carried through central search. It is very important that passengers do not place the lighter into their cabin bag after screening – it must be carried on the person for the duration of the flight. Separate lighter refills are not permitted.

Passengers can check the instructions covering dangerous goods on their flight ticket or on the website of the airline they are travelling with.

The CAA Travelling Safely leaflet also contains similar information. There are also notices on display at the airport check-in desks and advice can be sought from the check-in staff.

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