The pre-flight safety demonstration (also known as a pre-flight briefing, in-flight safety demonstration, safety instructions, or simply the safety video) is a detailed explanation given before takeoff to airline passengers about the safety features of a commercial aircraft.
On smaller aircraft this may take place in the form of a live briefing performed by flight attendants standing up in the aisles, while another flight attendant narrates over the public address system. Smaller regional jets and turboprops, where there may be only one flight attendant sometimes use recorded narration accompanying a live demonstration. On many larger aircraft equipped with in-flight entertainment, safety demonstrations may take place in the form of a video, which typically lasts 2 to 6 minutes. In consideration for travelers not speaking the airline's official language and for the passengers with hearing problems, the video may feature subtitles, an on-screen signer, or may be repeated in another language. Some safety videos are made using three-dimensional graphics.
Safety demonstrations are required by the basic international air safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and national civil aviation authorities. A safety demonstration typically covers all these aspects, not necessarily in this order:
demonstrating the emergency brace position (sometimes called the safety position) to be used during an emergency landing (not required in the United States or Canada)
the use of the seat belt. Some airlines recommend or require that passengers keep their seatbelt fastened at all times in case of unexpected turbulence.
the requirement that passengers must comply with lighted signs, posted placards, and crew members instructions (Generally only included in safety demonstrations on US and New Zealand carriers as the FAA (US) and CAA (NZ) require it to be stated)
the requirements for sitting in an emergency exit row (varies by country and airline), in the United States it must also be stated that exit row passengers may be required to assist the crew in an evacuation.
the use of the oxygen mask (not included on some turboprops which do not fly high enough to need supplemental oxygen in a decompression emergency) with associated reminders:
that the passenger should always fit his or her own mask before helping children, the disabled, or persons requiring assistance.
that even though oxygen will be flowing to the mask, the plastic bag may not inflate (required in the United States after a woman fatally removed her mask thinking it was not working).
the location and use of the life vests, life rafts and flotation devices (not always included if the flight does not overfly or fly near vast masses of water although is required by the FAA (US) on any aircraft equipped with life vests)
the use of passenger seat cushions as flotation devices (typically only included on aircraft that do not provide life vests)
that smoking is not allowed on board, including in the lavatories
that federal law prohibits tampering with, disabling or destroying lavatory smoke detectors (required verbatim in the United States - similar warnings in most other countries)
that the use of mobile phones is not allowed during flight, unless placed in "flight safe mode" or the wireless capability is turned off
that laptops and other electronics may only be used once the aircraft is at cruising altitude and the Captain turns off the fasten seat-belt sign.
in Canada, that passengers must ask a flight attendant prior to using electronics, and the use of external accessories (hard drives, mice, keyboards, printers, etc...) are not permitted.
that seatbacks and tray tables should be in their upright and locked position and carry-on luggage stowed in the overhead locker or underneath a seat prior to takeoff.
to review the safety information card prior to takeoff.
^"TAM." Pixel Labs. Retrieved on February 25, 2009.