Lithium-ion batteries have been highlighted by the Federal Aviation Administration as both a fuel and possible ignition point for fires onboard aircraft. While cell phone and computer batteries account for the majority of lithium-ion air cargo, power tool manufacturers must also abide by several regulations when shipping their batteries. Product managers at DeWalt shared these details on safety precautions the industry takes with lithium-ion batteries:

  • Careful packaging. Batteries must be shipped in a way that guarantees they won’t short out. Manufacturers use plastic bags, snap-on caps, or other latches to cover and protect batteries’ terminals.
  • Low-charge shipments. Batteries can’t ship completely empty, but fully charged batteries are more likely to contribute to fires.
  • No damaged packaging. Damaged packages can’t be shipped. Power tool packages should list a universal call-in number that manufacturer reps can call for advice if they encounter a damaged package.

Class 9 is the hazardous cargo classification for lithium-ion batteries 

—Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.