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Lithium Battery Fires Continue to Plague the Nation
Earlier this year, we reported on the dangerous fires started by lithium batteries all over the nation. This summer, another deadly incident happened, this time in New York City. News stories reported that a fire at an e-bike shop spread to nearby apartments, killing four people. The shop was previously cited for safety violations. Could it have been avoided?
New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh called the combination of an e-bike store on the first floor and residences above as “incredibly deadly,” but reports say the city is reluctant to support a ban on having lithium-ion bikes and scooters inside housing developments, claiming it could hurt the livelihood of residents who use them for employment.
However, lithium-ion batteries are a widespread risk. They are not only found in e-bikes and scooters, but also electric cars, smartphones, laptops, and even electric toothbrushes. Here’s how you can protect yourself from lithium-ion fires, according to an article in the Washington Post:
- Buy from a reputable source. You don’t want a product a company may have cut corners with design and testing. Make sure the product comes with an Underwriter Laboratories (UL) certification.
- Be aware of your battery’s health. Damaged batteries have a higher fire risk.
- Pay attention if you notice an electrical smell or unusual heat coming from a product with a lithium-ion battery.
- Don’t throw a lithium-ion battery in the trash. Dispose of them at qualified recycling centers.
- A home fire extinguisher will not put out a fire from a lithium-ion battery. Have a plan to leave quickly if there’s a fire.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a lithium-ion fire in Pennsylvania or the surrounding region, and you believe that negligence is involved, contact an attorney experienced in explosions and burn injuries.
We can meet to discuss your legal options.