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Will Bobby Pins/Safety Pins Set Off Metal Detectors At The Airport?

Can Bobby Pins Set Off Metal Detectors At The Airport?

Passing through airport security is not something many of us look forward to, from accidentally forgetting to remove your belt or wearing your ring, making the process very slow and painful. 

Bobby pins in particular will not set off a metal detector in airport scanners if you only have one or two in your hair, but a pack or a fair few bobby pins will need to be removed.

Within our guide below we will discuss whether or not you can take pins through an airport scanner, what else will set off detectors at airport security as well as which everyday items are fine to wear through a metal detector.

Will Safety Pins Set Off The Metal Detector?

Safety pins are much like bobby pins, they might or might not set off the detectors at airport security depending on how many of them you are wearing or taking through. 

We would suggest taking them off (if you can) to avoid having to be searched again.

What Types Of Items Set Off Detectors At Airport Security? 

Bobby pins and safety pins may or may not set off the airport scanner, but there are some items that 100% will. 

We’ve listed the main items which set off airport detectors below.

  • Belts – Belts are one of the main items which set off scanners at airport security, unless you have a plastic buckle you will need to take yours off before passing through airport metal detectors.
  • Rings – If your jewellery is made from inexpensive metals then these metals are most likely magnetic and will set the scanners at airport security off. Higher quality rings made out of gold or silver will not be detected.
  • Watches – Depending on your watch like jewellery you may not or may have to take it off, cheap watches need to be taken off due to the magnetic metal while more expensive ones are fine to wear through.
  • Wallet – To avoid confusion at airport security, it’s best to remove any coins in your wallet before passing through, if your wallet has no coins you can wear it through the body scanner with no issues.
  • Metal plates – If you have metal plates or implants in your body these could potentially set off scanners at airport security, its best to get aid at airport security for this.

Which Items Can I Wear Through a Body Scanner? 

There are plenty of items that will not set off the metal detector at the airport however it can be confusing to know what should or should not remove. 

We’ve listed the items your fine to wear through security below. 

  • Glasses – Regular glasses are fine to wear through airport security but you must remove sunglasses.
  • Jeans – Jeans even with metal buttons are fine to wear through security.
  • Wig – A wig is fine to wear through airport security without removal unless you had lots of bobby pins for example.
  • Hat – Hats are not okay to wear through airport security and will be asked to be removed.
  • Shoes – Shoes are fine to wear through scanners unless you have boots or shoes with metal toe caps on. You might be asked to remove them in some circumstances.

Are Airport Metal Detectors Safe To Pass-Through?

There has been a fair amount of speculation about the safety of airport metal detectors in the past due to the radiation these detectors emit when you pass through. 

Airport metal detectors did once use backscatter scanners which were used to emit harmful ionising radiation in low levels, they also used to violate passengers privacy due to their images displayed too. 

Nowadays airport scanners use millimetre scanners which give a more basic image to identify unusual objects on humans and emit non-ionising radiation which is not harmful to your health. 

You can always opt-out of passing through the metal detector at the airport if you want and instead ask for a security pat-down.

Frequently Asked Questions About Airport Scanners & Bobby Pins

Can I take pins in my hand luggage on a plane? 

Needles, safety pins and bobby pins are all fine to take in hand luggage and checked baggage through security.

What items get detected by airport scanners? 

All items are detected via an airport scanner, unusual metals are what sets off the alarm on these devices.

Can airport scanners detect gold? 

Airport scanners can indeed detect gold but they can’t differentiate them from other metals such as tungsten for example.

Will body piercings set off a metal detector? 

This is not a yes or a no, if you have a lot of body piercings then it might set off the alarm due to the amount of metal. You will not be asked to remove these but you might need to have an extra search.

Will foil-wrapped items set off the metal detector?

Foil-wrapped items can be taken on the plane but they could potentially set off the detector and require a further search to see what’s inside.

Does a pacemaker set off airport security? 

A pacemaker might set off the metal detector, it is also said they can affect the performance of the pacemakers when scanned, in this case, it’s best to ask for a pat-down.

Final Words

Overall, bobby pins might set off the airport detector if you are wearing a lot of them when you pass through, to be on the safe side we would suggest removing them. Other pins are fine to take through in your hand luggage. 

Any personable items such as jewellery might be okay to take through depending on the metal they are made of, cheaper metals will need to be scanned since they are magnetic while gold is okay to pass through with. 

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