City officials push for legislation regulating sale of lithium-ion batteries known for shortcutting
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Ritchie Torres are pushing to pass legislation requiring federal regulation of cheap, Chinese-made lithium-ion batteries known for shortcutting.
The FDNY says the batteries have been the cause of many e-bike and scooter fires throughout the city. Over 400 fires involving the batteries resulted in 300 injuries, 12 deaths and damage to more than 320 structures, according to authorities.
Workers at the C-Town supermarket in Morris Heights were left out of a job in February due to a fire sparked by an e-scooter battery.
A similar fire also claimed the life of 8-year-old Stephanie Villa in Queens last year.
"I remember there was a big fire and I tried to help my daughter and I got burnt all over,” said her mother, Marilu Torres. She said it is important to inform the public about the dangers of this type of battery.
"Everyone that has one needs to know what they're going to buy, and how it actually works. Because if you don’t have all that information, it’s almost as if you are bringing death to your house,” Torres said.
FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh advises people who have lithium-ion batteries in their homes to avoid charging them indoors or overnight. She also says to ensure not purchasing a defective secondhand battery.