Headlines continue to report indoor fires from faulty e-bike batteries. In fact, there have been over 200 fires caused by Lithium-Ion batteries in NYC and over 20 fires this year alone.
What ignites a lithium-ion battery? There are numerous reasons such as damaged batteries or improper charging of batteries that can lead to overheating.
Once a lithium-ion fire starts it can be very dangerous and difficult to extinguish. Fire extinguishers do not work on lithium battery fires. The recommendation is if a fire does start 1) leave the area, 2) close the door, and 3) immediately call 911.
Do’s and Don’ts for Lithium-Ion Batteries
- DO purchase certified devices
- DO follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage
- DO use the correct power adapter
- DO plug directly into the wall
- DO store away from anything flammable
- DON’T use aftermarket batteries
- DON’T plug into a power strip
- DON’T charge the battery overnight
- DON’T leave your e-bike unattended while charging
- DON’T place the battery in the Trash or Recycling Bin
NYC Council has now introduced legislation to try and solve this issue. This first round of legislation hopes to prevent e-bike battery fires by informing the public and restricting the ability to restore batteries that are not certified. The city council is also planning a “swap program” if you own a battery that is not up to code.