TREMONT, the Bronx (PIX11) — As lithium-ion battery fires continue to break out across New York City, Congressman Ritchie Torres is proposing new legislation to establish safety standards at the federal level.
Torres, a Democrat representing parts of the Bronx, says that the proposal is aimed at preventing fires like the five-alarm inferno that tore through a borough supermarket on Sunday when an e-bike battery burst into flames. That blaze left seven people injured and took more than 200 firefighters to extinguish.
The legislation would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish federal safety standards for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in personal mobility devices, like e-bikes. Torres is set to introduce the legislation Tuesday morning.
Last week, the New York City Council passed safety rules at the city level, requiring lithium-ion batteries sold in the five boroughs to be certified.
More than 200 fires across the city were connected to these types of batteries last year, leaving six people dead and nearly 150 injured, according to officials. And, FDNY officials recently said, the rate is only increasing so far in 2023.