New York City Public Schools are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our school communities. We recognize that while Lithium-ion based batteries have become popular due to their favorable shapes, size configuration, recharging ability, and power-to-weight ratio for favored technology devices; without proper care or with damages they can overheat and burn aggressively causing bodily harm, serious injuries, and devastating property damage.
The New York City Fire Department has advised that lithium-ion battery fires have increased dramatically in New York City with severe consequences. This increase is due largely in part to the rise of E-bike and E-scooter utilization in our city. Therefore, schools are advised to follow the safety tips and procedures as prescribed by FDNY.
Due to the increased use and visibility of lithium-ion batteries in schools, all school stakeholders must ensure that safety and precautionary measures are in place to uphold a safe learning environment for our students. Be advised of the following:
- Fire extinguishers do not work on lithium-ion batteries. In case of a fire, leave the area, close the door (if possible), and call 911.
- Damaged or unstable batteries disposal should be conferred with your local fire department.
- E-scooters and E-bikes must be parked outside and at least 6 feet from schools.
- Lithium-ion batteries are not to be stored or charged near school entrances and exits.
- Lithium-ion batteries must have a designated storage area with a door that closes.
- The charging of 5 or more lithium-ion batteries must have a dedicated space with a door that closes. Schools may store and charge the batteries in the same space. For example, laptop carts that have doors may be used both for charging and storage.
- Principals are to review NYC Fire Code Chapter 3, Section FC 309 with their school-based custodial engineer.
Questions about lithium-ion battery safety and guidelines should be directed to Lian Robinson at LRobins13@schools.nyc.gov.