STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – According to officials, lithium ion batteries used in e-bikes and e-scooters have caused almost two dozen fires in New York City in 2023, resulting in 36 injuries and two deaths. This is four times the number of fires compared to the same time last year. New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh has stated that these batteries are dangerous, and the community must use them safely and responsibly. The Mayor’s administration is working with the City Council and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop regulations and educate residents on proper use and storage. Many of the fires were caused by leaving the batteries to charge overnight.
The FDNY has urged residents to supervise charging, keep batteries away from doors and windows, check them frequently for damage, and use the manufacturer’s cords and batteries. Recent fires caused by lithium-ion batteries include one in the Bronx that injured three civilians and one firefighter, one in Manhattan that injured three children and one adult, and one at a Queens Daycare center that injured more than a dozen children.
To address concerns from community members and local leaders about the location of a proposed lithium-ion battery storage facility on Staten Island, developers withdrew the project plans. State Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo have introduced legislation to prohibit lithium-ion battery site installations within Staten Island, citing the hazards and potential damage caused by these batteries.
Why are lithium-ion batteries so dangerous?
Lithium-ion batteries are powerful energy storage devices that have become ubiquitous in modern life, powering everything from smartphones and laptops to electric vehicles and power tools. However, lithium-ion batteries are also capable of causing serious hazards under certain conditions. There are several reasons why lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous:
Thermal Runaways: Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to heat and pressure, and when damaged or defective, they can enter a state of thermal runaway. This causes the battery to overheat, leading to the release of flammable gases and a rapid buildup of pressure. This can result in an explosion or fire.
Chemical Reactions: The electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries is a flammable liquid that can react with the electrodes and cause a fire. If the battery is punctured, damaged, or overcharged, a chemical reaction can occur that generates heat and flammable gases, which can ignite and cause a fire.
Manufacturing Defects: Poor quality control during manufacturing can lead to defects in lithium-ion batteries, such as internal shorts, which can cause a thermal runaway event.
Misuse or Mishandling: Improper charging, storage, or use of lithium-ion batteries can also lead to hazards. For example, if a lithium-ion battery is charged too quickly, it can overheat and cause a fire. If it is punctured or dropped, it can also cause a thermal runaway event.
Due to the potential risks associated with lithium-ion batteries, it is important to use and handle them carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you experience any issues or have been injured as a result of a lithium-ion battery-related incident, you should seek medical attention and contact our qualified attorneys for legal advice.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or property damage due to fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter lithium ion batteries, you may be entitled to compensation. Parker Waichman LLP is here to help. Call us today at our toll-free telephone number, 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529), to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We understand the dangers posed by these devices and can help you navigate the legal process to get the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – call us today to schedule a free consultation.
For your free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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