NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh is sounding the alarm over lithium-ion battery fires following the tragic deaths of three family members in a blaze last weekend.
It's a crisis unlike any that previous fire commissioners have had to face and the proof is in the numbers.
There have been 17 deaths and counting across New York City in 2023. The batteries are also responsible for 239 fires in the city and 124 injuries.
If you go back just three years, there were zero deaths from lithium-ion battery fires in 2020.
Commissioner Kavanagh joined the Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 team to talk about this deadly problem and her plan to help keep New Yorkers safe.
She detailed the new campaign called 'Take CHARGE,' an acronym which stands for:
"C" for certified products only buy inspected items.
"H" is for handle with care, which means follow the manufacturer's instructions.
"A" is for always staying alert for issues.
"R" means you should recycle responsibly.
"G" urges people to get out immediately when there's a fire.
And, "E" stands for educating others.