Today, during the Safety briefing at New York City Hall, Mr. Louis Molina, assistant deputy Mayor for New York Public Safety, introduced one of the most recent problems New York is dealing with: e-bikes and other electric transportation devices that burst into flames because of non certified lithium-ion batteries, which implode a few months after the purchase. Just in this past year up to 267 episodes were recorded, according to Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
It is very dangerous both for the owners and the whole neighborhood. As a matter of fact, people usually leave their electric transportation devices at the door of their apartments. Ms. Kavanagh showed an impressive video of the combustion process. At first, smoke starts to spread and makes it impossible to get out immediately. Then, when the e-bikes finally burst into flames, it only takes a few minutes to burn everything around them.
“This is a national problem. It is only a matter of time before our whole life becomes more and more electric. So we are determined to lead the country on this issue. We have already asked the Congress to put a ban on non-certified lithium-ion batteries, so that they do not even get to enter the country”, Ms. Kavanagh said. “The best way to prevent those accidents is by tracking the company, the seller, the producer, because when they burst into flames the devices are barely recognizable.”
Today at City Hall, I shared updates on actions the @FDNY is taking to combat lithium-ion battery fires. Last year, FDNY Fire Marshals investigated 268 lithium-ion battery fires, which injured 150 people, and killed 18. We need to continue pushing for better laws. pic.twitter.com/hrcBSx10qx
— Commissioner Laura Kavanagh (@FDNYFC) February 2, 2024
Mr. Daniel Flynn, Chief Fire Marshal of the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation (BFI), showed that, thanks to tracking down illegal lithium-ion batteries and citizens’ reports, some progress was made. “In January 2023, there were about fifty episodes. Instead, since the beginning of 2024, we recorded only 18 of them.”