In the preceding 10 years fire safety and fire potential aboard commercial aircraft has changed and the challenges faced by the aviation industry to put these fires out while airborne have increased 10 fold.
Just a few years ago technology brought aboard commercial passenger airlines did not include; cell phones, lap top computers, DVD players, Readers or iPads; all of these everyday use devices can cause a new risk of fire and explosion in the passenger cabin and in cargo shipments. All of these devices and much more use the battery technology of Lithium and Lithium-ion batteries, these batteries pose a new threat aboard our commercial airlines.
Certified and aboard our commercial airlines to fight most contingencies of fires is an extinguishing product referred to as Halon, a commercially available agent that will extinguish a multitude of fires using last century technology and science. However the FAA also states; “…Halon 1301, the fire suppression agent found in Class C cargo holds, ‘is ineffective in controlling a lithium metal cell fire’ and lithium metal battery explosions can lead to "rapid fire spread" in cargo compartments.”
The range of Halon products now being used in the airline industry are no longer manufactured and by worldwide treaty because of its ozone depleting properties will be outlawed in the very near future.
A small Aviation Safety Company in Tulsa, OK: SpectrumFX, Inc. is taking new steps to offer groundbreaking safety measures to control this new risk of fire danger. SpectrumFX is developing a brand new hand held fire extinguisher using technology and intellectual property owned by Global Safety Labs also of Tulsa. This technology already placed on The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program has also been accepted by the EPA as a qualified replacement for Halon.
SpectrumFX is now marketing its biodegradable agent in a product called the LIFE Kit. This Kit, to be carried on board is the first known product that will assist the cabin crew in extinguishing a Laptop or other fire caused by Lithium-ion batteries aboard airlines worldwide.