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Lithium Ion Batteries in Community Associations

Lithium-ion batteries are in most rechargeable battery appliances and equipment, including vacuums, watches, cellphones, laptops, and cameras. They are most famously known for their use in electric vehicles, e-bikes, and e-scooters; and have been garnering national attention due to the dramatic increase in the number of fires, injuries, and deaths they have caused. In New York City alone, 219 e-bike fires causing 147 injuries and six deaths were reported in 2022. The number increased in 2023 – 267 fires led to 150 injuries and 18 deaths overall.

Just one fire caused by an e-bike can cost an association hundreds of thousands in insurance premiums, and eventually, insurance companies may not insure properties that allow e-bikes or don’t take proper precautions.

The safest form of protection is to prohibit e-bikes, etc., from the premises, but if that isn’t going to be done, then the following should be instituted:

  • The building should provide a storage area, such as a basement, with concrete walls and floors, where residents can keep their e-bikes.
  • The building should provide a fireproof cabinet where the batteries can be safely charged. More information is available at
  • Five feet of separation should be required between e-bikes and batteries in a non-sprinklered space and three feet of separation in a sprinklered space.
  • The board should institute a rule that E-bikes and their batteries are not permitted in building units.
  • Keep an eye on any e-bike recalls and inform residents when necessary. This information can be found at
  • All residents should be made aware of the following:
    • E-bikes and their batteries are not permitted in building units.
    • Only use Underwriting Laboratories (UL) Certified e-bikes and batteries.
    • Never charge batteries near flammable materials.
    • Battery charging should not exceed three hours maximum to avoid overheating.
    • Do not use extension cords or power strips to charge batteries.
    • Keep e-bikes away from appliances that generate heat.
    • Do not store e-bikes next to each other, which could trigger multiple batteries to ignite.
    • Do not store any combustible materials, other than the e-bikes, in the storage room.
    • Rechargeable batteries should only be disposed of at battery disposal centers, never thrown in garbage bags or bins. More info can be found at
    • Common fire extinguishers DO NOT extinguish lithium-ion fires. In case of emergency, only use a fire extinguisher that is NTA 8133 Certified. One should be purchased and kept nearby. You can purchase one at the following links:

E-bikes and their batteries are a constantly evolving topic. If you have questions regarding carrier guidelines or what steps should be taken in your building, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Click here for a free PDF download of this list, as well as a free PDF download to distribute to residents.

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