NYC rental companies are required to post the FDNY safety bulletin warning of e-bike battery fires

City rental companies must release an FDNY safety guide warning apartment dwellers about fires caused by e-bike batteries that have killed six people so far this year, The Post has learned.

The fire department released the emergency safety bulletin to prevent the deadly fires as New Yorkers purchase popular electronic bikes, scooters and hoverboards during the holiday shopping season.

In 2022, New York City saw at least 140 fires that injured 140 and killed six people — including one in August that trapped a teenage girl in an East Harlem apartment, officials said.

An 8-year-old girl was killed the following month in Queens in a fire started by a lithium battery on her sibling’s new electric scooter.

E-bikes and other battery-powered lithium-ion mobility devices are all the rage. But many people store and charge e-bike batteries in their homes, which “pose serious fire hazards,” officials said.

“The homes were badly damaged,” said the bulletin, published in City Record last week.

The guide, which must be posted in apartment complexes by April 30, urges consumers to stop charging an e-bike immediately and call 911 if there is fire or smoke, the battery is overheating, it is leaking, or there is a strange smell or an e-bike strange battery gives noise.

E-bikes burned
The fire department released an emergency safety bulletin to prevent the deadly e-bike fires.
Peter Gerber
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular among New Yorkers.
Getty Images/ Spencer Platt

The FDNY also posted a public service video on its Instagram account urging Big Apple residents to take safety measures to prevent such fires when storing e-bikes in their homes.

“Christmas is just around the corner. You think of the e-bikes…the lithium-ion batteries that power electric mobility devices are going to be a great gift for the holiday season,” said Dan Flynn, the FDNY’s chief fire marshal.

“Understand that they are great for us and convenient to use in our communities. But they pose a certain risk,” he said. “If you’re buying these for your kids, don’t let them charge them [the batteries] in your children’s bedroom.”

Harlem fire
A fire started by an electric bicycle trapped a teenage girl in an East Harlem apartment.
Robert Mecea

The FDNY emergency bulletin, titled “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT E-BIKE FIRE PROTECTION,” urges New Yorkers to:

  • Only purchase e-bikes and other mobility aids that are certified by nationally recognized testing laboratories that bear symbols such as “UL”, “ETL” and “CSA”. “Labs test these products to ensure they meet industry standards and are safe to operate under normal circumstances.”
  • Use only the original battery, power supply, and power cord that came with the e-bike, or replacement parts recommended by the manufacturer or certified by the laboratory.
  • “NEVER use unapproved batteries/chargers, even if they are much cheaper. WHY? Unapproved batteries or chargers may not be designed to work with an e-bike or e-bike battery. “RESULT: An unapproved battery can overcharge, overheat, and catch fire.”
  • When charging, plug the e-bike directly into an outlet and “NEVER charge an e-bike or an e-bike battery with an extension cord or power strip.” “WHY? Charging lithium-ion batteries requires much electrical current, more than most extension cords and power strips can handle. RESULT: The extension cord or power cord can overheat and cause a fire.”
  • Store chargers and batteries for e-bikes safely and “if possible not in the apartment”, as there are no sprinkler systems and there are too many flammable furnishings and household items such as curtains and papers.
  • “NEVER charge the battery overnight or when you are away from home.”

Legislators are also trying to address the problem.

State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) recently proposed two bills to prevent fires caused by faulty lithium-ion batteries – by allowing the sale of such batteries only if they are tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and the sale of remanufactured ones Batteries will be banned or second-use lithium-ion batteries.

“Refurbished and untested batteries contribute to a serious threat to the health and safety of New Yorkers in their homes and in their workplaces, whether they are delivery drivers trying to make a living or renters working next to a nightly charging is live business,” said Krüger.

In 2022, there were at least 140 fires in New York City that were linked to the devices.
Robert Mecea
The guide encourages riders to stop charging an e-bike and call 911 if there is fire or smoke, the battery is overheating, leaking, or making a strange smell, or a battery that is making strange noises.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“When a device has the potential to do that much damage, we just can’t take a Wild West approach without oversight.”

The city council is seeking similar measures.

Councilor Oswald Feliz (D-Bronx) also introduced legislation that would restrict the sale of uncertified e-bike batteries.

“We need to make sure the products sold in our city are safe for New Yorkers, and making sure batteries are certified before they’re sold and used is critical to helping solve the growing problem,” Feliz said.

“We must use all means to solve the fire safety challenges of e-bike batteries,” said Feliz.

“The FDNY’s plan to expand its awareness campaign is a big step. Educating residents about the dangers of these batteries, including how to use, store and charge these devices in homes, is vital,” he added. “It will help residents understand the fire safety threats they pose and help them take action to minimize the risks.” NYC rental companies are required to post the FDNY safety bulletin warning of e-bike battery fires


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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