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Queens Scooter Shop Shut Down Over Hazardous Lithium-Ion Batteries


Key Takeaways:

– City and FDNY officials have shut down a Queens scooter shop that was creating potentially perilous lithium-ion batteries.
– Just before their predicted ignition, firefighters cooled down the batteries labeled as “Frankenstein” due to their hybrid nature.
– The battery fires in NYC claimed the lives of 18 people and injured over 150 in 2023.
– The hazardous batteries were composed of parts cannibalized from other batteries, according to the Fire Department.
– The business committed multiple violations of FDNY codes and the City Council’s newly imposed laws regarding lithium-ion battery storage.

Queens Scooter Shop Closed Over Dangerous Batteries

In a life-saving operation, city and FDNY inspectors have put an end to Wilson’s E-Scooter Shop based in Forest Hills, Queens. The store was involved in the dangerous operation of constructing several lithium-ion batteries predicted to be fire-prone. Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh stressed the severity of the situation, saying the batteries had to be extinguished before removal, thereby preventing another battery-induced incident.

Taming the Beast Batteries

A potentially catastrophic fire was averted with timely firefighter intervention. The storage facility containing these batteries began to ignite as the firefighters transported them out during their inspection. This highly volatile event was managed with the swift application of firefighting hoses.

Last year, lithium-ion battery fires resulted in 18 casualties and numerous injuries in New York City. It’s the FDNY’s vigilance that has ensured no fatalities this year. Kavanagh issued a stark reminder of a single battery’s power to destroy an entire shopping plaza.

The ‘Frankenstein’ Li-ion Batteries

The Fire Department disclosed that Wilson’s E-Scooter Shop was building its batteries using cannibalized parts from others. The hybrid products thus created were ironically labeled “Frankenstein” batteries. FDNY’s inspection revealed more than 60 such dangerous lithium-ion battery packs, hundreds of individual lithium-ion cells, along with a plethora of electric and gas scooters.

Violation of Safety Regulations

In light of these potentially fatal findings, Wilson’s E-Scooter Shop was charged with multiple FDNY code violations. These included contravention against the City Council’s newly imposed regulations regarding the proper storage and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. The FDNY Fire Marshal, Daniel Flynn, warned against the high risk implicated in such dangerous battery manufacturing practices.

Stricter Industry Standards Required

This recent incident is a stark reminder of the need for professional and safe manufacturing spaces for lithium-ion batteries. Wilson E-Scooter landed itself on the Fire Department’s inspection list once it was recognized as a battery factory by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. Commissioner Vilda Mayuga expressed her concern over businesses that not only repair batteries but venture into risky DIY manufacturing.

Recent Incidents and Warnings

Coordinated city inspections also identified a recent lithium-ion battery-induced fire in a Brooklyn home, injuring two firefighters. The unregulated procurement and use of these batteries have been a growing concern. Flynn emphasized the necessity for consumers to purchase UL certified batteries directly from the manufacturers.

A Tragic History

The hazard posed by lithium-ion batteries isn’t a novel problem. In November, a Brooklyn family tragically lost three generations in a fire ignited by a faulty lithium-ion battery. Such incidents underline the urgent need for stringent regulation of battery manufacturing and handling operations across the city.

With businesses like Wilson’s E-Scooter still in operation, Commissioner Kavanagh warned of the potential threats if left unchecked. It is crucial, now more than ever, that we ensure safety standards and regulations are upheld in such perilous industries.

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