NEW YORK (AP) — Lithium ion batteries used to power electric bicycles and scooters have already sparked 22 fires that induced 36 accidents and two deaths in New York Metropolis this yr, 4 instances the variety of fires linked to the batteries by this time final yr, officers mentioned Friday.
Fireplace Commissioner Laura Kavanagh mentioned Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is “coming at this drawback from each single angle,” together with working with the Metropolis Council and the federal Shopper Product Security Fee on extra laws for the batteries and educating the general public on their correct use and storage.
“These are extremely harmful gadgets, and we should make it possible for members of the neighborhood are dealing with them correctly and utilizing them safely,” Kavanagh mentioned at a briefing on public security.
Most of the fires blamed on the batteries have been brought on by malfunctioning gadgets left to cost in a single day and positioned in a hallway or close to a door the place they’ll lure folks inside a burning house.
Three kids and an grownup had been injured this month when a charging battery started a fire of their higher Manhattan house at 1:30 a.m., officers mentioned.
Fireplace Division Chief of Operations John Esposito mentioned after the Feb. 5 blaze that when the battery overheated and sparked a hearth, “it blocked the egress out of the house, trapping the household.”
Kavanagh mentioned the e-bike batteries “current typically a right away incapability to exit one’s room or one’s house or one’s residence. So it’s actually vital that we work with all our companions up right here in authorities round enforcement, round schooling, round combating the hazards that these current to residents and first responders.”