FAA Warns Airlines of E-Cigarette Fire Danger

Electronic devices in checked bags have sparked fires.

FAA Electronic Cigarette

FAA Electronic Cigarette

The FAA says e-cigarettes in passengers' checked bags have sparked two fires aboard U.S. airliners in recent months, prompting the agency to issue a safety alert recommending air carriers allow the devices to be carried only in the cabin.

Last month at Los Angeles International Airport, an overheated e-cigarette sparked a fire in a piece of luggage in the baggage hold of a commercial jet. Four months earlier, at Boston Logan Airport, an e-cigarette in a passenger's bag caught fire in the cargo hold of an airliner, forcing an evacuation.

The FAA is urging airlines to start warning passengers of the fire dangers e-cigarettes pose with notices on their websites, on tickets and through announcements.

Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine through an aerosol vapor rather than smoke from tobacco. They include electronic chips, LCD displays and rechargeable batteries. Major U.S. airlines do not allow passengers to use e-cigarettes aboard flights but the TSA allows them to be carried through security.

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