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Old 04-12-2014, 16:39   #16
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Re: Dreamliner lithium battery fire, investigation ended.

Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Tx, it just goes to show that despite the unvarying language in the CFR about common carriers and what is or isn't hazmat, that each carrier interprets things differently. And each vendor as well.

I suspect that the USPS will take wristwatches by what we used to call "Parcel Post" without any complaint. That's strictly ground service. But anything that might go on a plane, might be a different story. West might even be saying that because they get a better bulk rate from UPS or FedEx Home, you never know.

I wonder if the TSA has heard, there's this guy, he threatens to flush his watch battery down the toilet of a plane unless the pilot diverts the flight to... [sigh]

It must be a recent policy change, or compliance by vendor varies.
You're on the right track WRT DHS/TSA bullcarp, government intrusiveness is reaching new heights of absurdity and threat (IMO) every month.
Although it makes sense to be cautious with Li batteries, at least some flavors until they are proved safe, as some have already noted. Especially in the air, where access to compartments is even more restricted than aboard a boat.

A month or two ago I bought several watches (with batts inside) from WM, they were shipped Priority Mail (their choice, not mine; assume air shipping); arrived in a couple of days no prob, no warnings. I guess they were regular "coin" batteries, non Li. The one I mentioned above must have had a special 'extended life higher power battery; it was a special "regatta" timer watch. Imagine all cell phones, tablets, etc., will be affected now, since they use Li batts.

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Old 04-12-2014, 17:11   #17

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Re: Dreamliner lithium battery fire, investigation ended.

Well, the common lithium watch batteries are AFAIK the 2032 or 2016 type, the ones the size of a quarter, although I'm sure there are other smaller ones. But one has to ask:

Has there been a massive conspiracy, covering up the news stories about "Watch bursts into flames, pregnant mother sues Casio!" ??

I must confess, I haven't been keeping up with the Globe or the Enquirer, I could have missed many warnings about dangerous watch batteries.(G)

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Old 04-12-2014, 19:33   #18
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Re: Dreamliner lithium battery fire, investigation ended.

The problem isn't a single small battery. The problem comes when lots of batteries are shipped together. The regulators in the US tried to do something about it by limiting the number of batteries per box (4 I think). The crafty shippers just put lots of small boxes into a bigger box and soon there were hundreds of thousands of lithium batteries shipped in the holds of passenger planes each year. The regulators have learned that the explosive force of a big enough pile of lithium batteries is enough to bring an airliner down. Some regulators want to ban them but the airlines, battery makers and buyers do not want more restrictions for fiscal reasons. Then batteries would have to ship by sea freight and that takes weeks instead of days plus airlines like the revenue extra cargo generates. So some lobbyists convinced a few congress persons to tell regulators that unless a plane actually goes down due to batteries they don't have enough proof to ban lithium from planes. We'll see how that works out eventually.

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