Recent years have witnessed an increase in serious fires caused by the improper storage, charging and disposal of rechargeable and lithium-ion batteries or devices that use them. Officials say in New York City alone there have been more than 400 fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries in the last four years -- resulting in more than 300 injuries and 12 deaths, according to “NYC considering more e-bike charging stations; lawmakers push for lithium-ion battery regulations” from WABC1.
While lithium-ion batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cordless vacuums, laptops, cellphones, cameras, and many other devices, it is their presence in e-bikes, e-scooters and hoverboards that is raising the highest concerns. If not treated properly, lithium-ion batteries can overheat, catch fire, or even explode -- with catastrophic consequences.
New York City apartment owners and operators now are required to post a safety guide from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) inside their apartment communities to warn residents about the dangers of using, storing, and charging lithium-ion batteries inside their homes. The FDNY has also produced a public service video and posted on its social media platforms to warn residents of these dangers.
Following is a downloadable series of safety tips on the dangers of lithium-ion batteries provided by the FDNY to help educate National Apartment Association (NAA) members. Although these safety tips were developed specifically for New York City apartments, they apply to all apartments across the country. Apartment owners and operators are advised to consult their own counsel for codes and enforcement applicable within their local jurisdictions.
The safety tips provided were prepared by the FDNY. NAA assumes no liability with respect to the use of, or for damages resulting from the use of any information, method or process disclosed in this documentation. Laws, regulations and standards pertaining to the topics discussed in this documentation may differ for other states or cities. NAA recommends that you consult your local fire department for additional information.