How e-bikes are exploding and killing people
In the past few years, e-bikes have killed at least 11 people and injured at least 251 in New York City, all due to fires caused by faulty lithium-ion battery-powered devices. are
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According to the FDNY, in 2022, these bikes were the fourth leading cause of fire deaths. And in 2023, there have already been 15 lithium-ion battery-related fires, killing one person and injuring up to 25.
Why are these fires happening?
New York City has more of these fires than anywhere else in the country because it’s so densely populated, and many delivery workers use electric bikes as an easy way to get around.
However, these bikes often need to be charged at home overnight, and many of them, unfortunately, are designed with cheap and poorly-made batteries that explode and cause these deadly fires.
In New York City, e-bike batteries blamed for 22 fires, 2 deaths since January
The thing about lithium-ion batteries is that the fires they cause are different from normal fires, which is why they have caused so many deaths.
Fire spreads very quickly and engulfs any combustible material in seconds. Batteries cannot be extinguished with water or foam as this may cause a reaction and cause a fire.
Firefighters should use extinguishers specifically designed for lithium battery fires that contain dry powder, which absorbs heat and extinguishes the fire. The problem with these fires is that they release toxic gases, which create an additional level of danger.
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What is being done to stop it?
In New York, Councilman Robert Holden has introduced legislation that would ban electric scooters and electric bikes until more safety measures are put in place. However, this is only one form of law.
Several politicians in New York are working on proposals that would help reduce fires without taking bikes away from delivery workers entirely, such as a bill that would legally allow people to store their batteries outside their homes. will force to charge.
Additionally, the New York City Fire Department has banned e-mobility devices at its headquarters and trained firefighters to respond to lithium-ion battery fires. It is also making fire departments across the country aware of the danger.
In late November, the FDNY required city landlords to distribute a safety bulletin in residential buildings warning tenants of the potential dangers of charging electric bikes.
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Meanwhile, it is important to note that most e-bikes on the market are safe and reliable when used as intended and maintained properly.
The biggest point to remember is to avoid buying batteries that have been damaged or modified as unsafe, as well as to avoid buying batteries that have not been certified with all the proper safety precautions. has been done
E-bike owners should also avoid using a charger that was not designed for the battery or buying batteries from second-hand stores.
And remember to avoid charging the battery in a place where it could block a fire escape, such as a front door or window.
How do you feel about e-bikes? Should they be banned altogether? Tell us your thoughts.
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