The FDNY confirmed that lithium-ion batteries were the cause of a recent 3-alarm fire in a Bushwick residence. Around fifty of these batteries were being repaired at the home.
In her February 15 newsletter, NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez stated, “My heart goes out to the resident still in critical condition, and I am relieved that tomorrow the City Council will be voting on a slate of bills related to the safety education around such batteries. Additionally, I have a bill in committee (Int-822) that could help curb this practice by creating a battery safety certification for mechanics of powered mobility devices.”
Gutiérrez has also published the Residential Fire Emergency Response Guide on her NYCC District 34 site It is a helpful tool in a stressful time that can prevent displacement and informs on tenants’ rights when it comes to paying rent during repairs or a vacate order. If the Department of Buildings issues a vacate order the guide states, “A vacate order means that your unit is not safe to live in. It is not an eviction order, and it means that you will not owe any rent to your landlord while the vacate order is in effect.”
Other tips are: if you are relocated call your utilities to suspend service, and taking pictures of the damage for future insurance claims should be done as soon as possible.
To access the full guide, go here: https://council.nyc.gov/jennifer-gutierrez/fire-emergency-response/