New York

Counterfeit lithium-ion batteries, safer charging stations at center of NYC fire bill

New York City (WABC) — New York City officials aim to pass legislation to help prevent fires caused by lithium-ion batteries by offering e-bike owners better safety measures and more affordable battery options .

Recent fire videos show how batteries in e-bikes and scooters can quickly catch fire, trapping people inside their homes.

So far this year, there have been 63 fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, resulting in dozens of injuries and five deaths.

Exactly one week ago, a 7-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman Man dies in fire caused by electric bicycle charging at front door of their Queens apartment.

Fire officials also say lithium-ion battery fires are difficult for crews to extinguish.

“These fires that you see from these bikes move so fast that people can’t get out. This is a new and difficult problem not just for the fire department, but for the city,” said FDNY’s Fire Chief. says Dan Flynn. “I want you to buy a charger that’s compatible with the device you’re buying. Don’t buy the cheapest option. Make sure what you buy is compatible with your device.”

The New York City Council has already considered and passed several bills on lithium-ion batteries and will consider two more bills proposed by City Council member Keith Powers on Monday.

The first part of the bill would establish a program to provide new, better lithium-ion batteries at low prices or free of charge to replace cheap imitations.

Another is to require companies to provide workers using e-bikes for commercial purposes with fireproof or fireproof containers to charge their batteries.

Still, some officials question whether these bills will be effective enough to effectively reduce the likelihood of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.

“If I have a battery and a charger and it is compatible, can I plug it in? Is it safe? Brewer said.

One issue is cost. Counterfeit batteries cost around $200, while genuine batteries cost closer to $1000.

Cost is a big factor for delivery workers who work 14 hours a day with little income.

And even the best technology has flaws, according to firefighting experts.

Julian Bazel of FDNY Code Counsel said:

Officials are also concerned about the lack of outreach and education provided to workers who buy or use electric bikes. Many of them are immigrants and may feel vulnerable to reach out to the city for assistance.

“We are primarily interested in pursuing solutions that are safe for workers and do not seek to punish them,” city councilor Carmen de la Rosa said.

De La Rosa suggested reaching out to members of these communities to ensure they have smoke detectors and proper fire safety plans in place.

“I hear it all the time, but it wasn’t always the alarm and they didn’t know it until the door was banged,” de la Rosa said.

Also read | The ‘New’ New York: Is it what we envisioned in 2021?


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