NYCHA proposes new policy that would ban e-bikes, lithium-ion batteries from buildings

City leaders call for better regulations after uptick in fires caused by lithium-ion batteries

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Monday, August 15, 2022
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An increase in fires caused by lithium-ion batteries has sparked a call for better education and enforcement efforts from city leaders. Lauren Glassberg has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- An increase in fires caused by lithium-ion batteries has sparked a call for better education and enforcement efforts from New York City leaders.

There were 104 fires caused by lithium-ion batteries in 2021, leading to 79 injuries and four deaths, according to the FDNY.

This year, that number is already up to 126, with 74 injuries and five deaths.

That includes one at a NYCHA complex in Harlem that left a 5-year-old girl and a woman dead.

Council Member Gail Brewer was joined by other city officials Monday to call on NYCHA to create a plan that accommodates people who depend on e-bikes for work while protecting residents.

Brewer's office said there are a number of bills being drafted to address issues of safety and regulation of lithium-ion battery-powered e-bikes and other mobility devices.

NYCHA is proposing a new policy that would prohibit e-bikes and their batteries from city-owned apartment buildings.

Residents would not be allowed to keep or charge the e-bike batteries in their apartments or common areas of the buildings.

The housing authority has opened the proposed policy to comments from NYCHA residents.

If approved, all e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries would have to be removed from NYCHA buildings by October 15.

RELATED | 100 lithium-ion batteries found at scene of Hell's Kitchen fire

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