FDNY continues crackdown on illegal lithium-ion batteries, businesses using and selling them

The FDNY says that 150 New Yorkers were injured and 18 were killed last year just due to fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.

Marisa Marcellino and Adolfo Carrion

Feb 8, 2024, 10:10 PM

Updated 158 days ago

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FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh announced an arrest at a bike shop in Queens on Thursday, where owners were manufacturing hundreds of illegal lithium-ion batteries.
This comes as part of the fire department’s continued fight back against the emergence of those illegal batteries in the five boroughs.
Some of those illegal batteries have caused some of the city’s biggest fires in recent memory, including one at a supermarket last March that destroyed an entire shopping area along the Grand Concourse.
“A large supermarket, completely destroyed only due to one e-bike battery,” said Councilmember Oswald Feliz. “That’s just a perfect example of how powerful and how deadly and how quickly these fires can escalate due to these e-bike batteries.”
The FDNY says that 150 New Yorkers were injured and 18 were killed last year just due to fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. The FDNY commissioner says that if just one battery can cause such destruction, the hundreds found in the Queens bust could have been catastrophic.
"Unregulated, tampered with and non-certified batteries are extremely dangerous and deadly, they kill people, they have killed people and they will kill more people if businesses continue to operate in this manner,” said Kavanaugh. “Right now people have explosive devices sitting in their homes and we have to tackle that."


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