New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive campaign on February 1, 2024, aimed at raising awareness about the safe use of products containing lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are ubiquitous in modern life, powering smartphones, laptops, power tools, e-bikes, toys, and various other devices. While integral to many aspects of daily life, improper use can pose safety risks.
During the press conference, Governor Hochul highlighted alarming statistics, revealing that in 2023 alone, New York City witnessed over 250 fires, 130 injuries, and at least 18 fatalities linked to incidents involving lithium-ion batteries. In response to these concerning figures, the state is taking proactive measures to address potential hazards associated with these widely used batteries.
One of the proposed actions is the introduction of a ban on the sale of uncertified or improperly certified lithium-ion batteries specifically used in micro-mobility devices. This step aims to ensure that consumers have access to reliable and safe batteries, mitigating the risks associated with substandard products.
Governor Hochul expressed the need for public awareness to be the first line of defense against potential dangers associated with these batteries. The rapid pace of technological advancement, while enhancing convenience and enjoyment, also brings unfamiliar risks. The campaign, spearheaded by state agencies, is designed to equip New Yorkers with the knowledge needed to make informed and safe choices when purchasing, storing, and using products with lithium-ion batteries.
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The public awareness campaign, titled “Buy Safe, Charge Safe,” officially launched on February 1st. It focuses on educating consumers about what to look for when buying lithium-ion batteries and provides essential tips for their safe use and disposal. As part of this initiative, the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services collaborated to create a Lithium-Ion Battery Consumer Safety Guide, offering comprehensive guidance on ensuring safe practices.
Governor Hochul urged citizens to take a few minutes to familiarize themselves with the guidelines outlined in the safety campaign, emphasizing that one life lost due to a preventable battery-related incident is one life too many. The campaign aims to empower individuals to make educated and responsible choices, ultimately safeguarding lives and property.
As technology continues to advance, the importance of raising awareness about potential risks becomes increasingly critical. The state’s initiative seeks to strike a balance by encouraging the use of innovative products while prioritizing safety. By addressing the hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries, New York State aims to create a safer environment for its residents and mitigate the risks posed by these widely used energy storage devices.
The collaborative efforts of government agencies, coupled with public engagement through the “Buy Safe, Charge Safe” campaign, underscore the commitment to consumer safety and responsible technology use. As the campaign unfolds, it is expected to play a pivotal role in reducing incidents related to lithium-ion batteries and fostering a culture of awareness and responsibility among New Yorkers.