Sign In  |  Register  |  About Mill Valley  |  Contact Us

Mill Valley, CA
September 01, 2020 1:29pm
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
  • Search Hotels in Mill Valley

  • CHECK-IN:
  • CHECK-OUT:
  • ROOMS:

New York City asks for public's help in e-bike crackdown amid fire threat

New York City officials are cracking down on e-bike repair shops amid a spate of fires involving their batteries that have proven deadly, including the blaze that left four dead last week.

Officials in New York City are calling for the public to help with a crackdown on e-bike shops that are improperly handling and storing lithium ion batteries, which have caused deadly fires in the city.

Last Tuesday, a fire broke out at an e-bike repair shop in Manhattan’s Chinatown that resulted in four deaths due to smoke inhalation and several injuries among residents in the building above the shop. A firefighter was also injured in the blaze. 

Over 100 fires linked to e-bikes have occurred in New York City this year with 13 deaths reported, officials said. That’s more than twice the amount of fatalities recorded in e-bike-related fires a year.

E-bikes are growing in popularity, particularly with delivery workers, but the lithium ion batteries that power them pose a significant fire hazard if they’re defective or improperly charged, as they can create fast-moving blazes that are challenging for first responders to extinguish.

AT LEAST 4 DEAD IN NYC E-BIKE STORE FIRE, OFFICIALS SAY

FDNY Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn encouraged the public to report "hazardous conditions" they encounter inside e-bike repair shops. In particular, the public should note batteries being charged in close proximity, devices that appear damaged, or shops using extension cords to charge the batteries.

"These fires go from zero to 100 in a second," Flynn said. "If you feel within yourself that there’s a dangerous situation, give us a call."

The HQ E-Bike Repair shop, where last week’s fire occurred, had previously been fined over how it was charging e-bikes at the shop, although inspectors reportedly didn’t check whether reconditioned batteries were being sold during a recent visit.

CPSC TO HOLD FORUM ON LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES IN E-BIKES AFTER STRING OF DEADLY FIRES

New York City implemented new guidelines that will require fire officials to respond to complaints about e-bike batteries within 12 hours of being notified. Under the previous policy, officials had three days to respond.

Flynn added that the city isn’t trying to criminalize repair shops and intends to focus on those that aren’t taking proper precautions with the lithium batteries. 

E-BIKES SOLD AT AMAZON, WALMART RECALLED DUE TO FIRE, EXPLOSION HAZARDS

"We want to be clear that we support the use of these devices, we just want them to be used safely," Flynn said.

New York City’s e-bike crackdown has seen nearly 500 summonses issued to date. Each summons can result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

City officials are also reaching out to e-bike shops to educate them about new rules, while the fire department is issuing public service announcements and local officials are mulling a "buy-back" program to get low-quality e-bike batteries off the street.

Later this year, New York City is planning to ban the sale of e-bikes and scooters that don’t comply with certain safety standards.

FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Data & News supplied by www.cloudquote.io
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
 
 
Copyright © 2010-2020 MillValley.com & California Media Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.