EAST HARLEM E-BIKE FIRE KILLS 5 YEAR OLD GIRL, 36 YEAR OLD WOMAN AND THREE DOGS
Another fire in New York City has been attributed to an e-bike or e-scooter battery by Fire Department investigators. This latest tragedy occurred inside the Jackie Robinson Houses located at 110 East 129th Street in Manhattan.
It is believed that the fire sparked from one of the lithium ion batteries used in an e-scooter that was stored in a hallway. This particular scooter is similar to a moped and uses a larger battery than would be found on a regular pedal assist bike or an e-bike.
When damaged or overcharged, the lithium ion batteries that power e-bikes and e-scooters can release hydrogen gas and explode violently. There were 93 fires caused by lithium ion batteries in 2021.
Source: “”The lithium-ion battery is responsible for the unprecedented growth of these new and innovative personal transportation devices. New York Personal injury lawyer Glenn Herman who, as an avid cyclist himself, specializes in bicycle injury cases, comments on E-bike fires: E-bike and e-scooter ownership has skyrocketed in New York City since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Unfortunately, so has the incidence of e-bike fires. The rate of fires in 2021 doubled that of 2020 and were responsible for three deaths. As the owner of an e-bike and an e-scooter, the issue of a battery fire is very close to home to me. The following tips from the New York City Fire Department will help to keep us safe:
Purchase and use devices that are certified by a qualified testing laboratory.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage.
Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or near a couch.
Always use the manufacturer’s cord and power adapter made specifically for the device.
Do not use aftermarket batteries.
Keep batteries and devices at room temperature. Do not place them in direct sunlight.
Store batteries away from anything flammable.
If a battery overheats or you notice an odor, a change in shape or color, leaking, or odd noises, stop using it immediately.
If the battery reacts in an alarming way, and it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 911.
Do not leave e-bikes unattended while they’re charging, and don’t leave them charging overnight.
Do not block your primary way into and out of the building with an e-bike.
Do not leave an e-bike in a child’s room.
The Fire Department also warns that when you need to dispose of a used rechargeable or lithium-ion battery, it’s illegal in New York City to throw them out with the regular trash or recycling. Old batteries should be taken to a facility that recycles batteries. The number of e-bikes that are being used in The City are increasing daily, especially with the many delivery services we have. Following the above tips can prevent fires that can result in serious injuries and death.”
Glenn A. Herman NYC Moped / Scooter Accident Lawyer