• Press Release

December 10, 2020

UL Standards & Engagement Publishes Safety Standard for Battery Fire Containment Products

A woman reads a tablet device on an airplane

UL 5800 addresses the evaluation of products intended to mitigate lithium-ion battery fires on airplanes

NORTHBROOK, Ill. December 10, 2020 – UL Standards & Engagement announced today that it published ANSI/CAN/UL 5800, Standard for Safety for Battery Fire Containment Products. The standard provides test methodology and performance criteria to evaluate products used by airline personnel to contain portable electronic devices in the event of a battery fire.

The standard was developed after members of the aviation industry asked ULSE to create a safety standard for products that mitigate smoke and flames from lithium-ion battery fires occurring during flight. Damaged lithium-ion batteries in devices such as laptops and cell phones can experience overheating during a condition called thermal runaway, leading to the potential for fires – a major hazard on an airplane. 

“We are honored that members of the aviation industry looked to ULSE to lead development of a safety standard for battery fire containment products,” said Phil Piqueira, vice president of global standards for ULSE. “We are dedicated to improving safety and security in our society, and air travel safety is critical to that mission.”

In developing the Standard, ULSE formed a technical committee of individuals and organizations with interest or technical expertise in the subject category. Participants included international representatives from airlines, shipping companies and other aviation-related organizations, along with government bodies and containment product developers.

Using TC and stakeholder input, ULSE created a repeatable and reproducible standardized test methodology. A human interaction study conducted by Emergo by UL along with other advisors and subject matter experts from the UL enterprise produced test data to develop some of the construction, testing, marking, instruction and packaging requirements in the standard. The ease of use of the containment product and personal protective equipment are covered by the standard. It does not provide guidance for containment products intended for use in cargo shipments.

The standard is nationally recognized and approved by the American National Standards Institute and the Standards Council of Canada, offering greater consistency in safety of battery fire containment products across both countries and jurisdictions. The binational standard eliminates the risk of de-harmonization as updates are implemented, while also allowing manufacturers to design and evaluate products for both countries.

About ULSE

UL Standards & Engagement is a nonprofit organization that translates safety science into action through standards development, partnerships and advocacy. Since 1903, we have developed nearly 1,700 standards and guidance documents for products ranging from fire doors to autonomous vehicles. ULSE enables innovation and grows trust by convening experts and informing policymakers and regulators as we work toward a safer, more secure and sustainable future. Visit ulse.org for more information.