Manhattan co-op could ban e-bikes due to fire risk

London Terrace Towers in Chelsea, one of New York's largest co-ops, is considering banning e-bikes inside its building.

In November, 38 people were hurt after a luxury high-rise on East 52nd Street lit up from a lithium-ion battery in an e-bike. E-bikes were already banned in that building.

Lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes have sparked 200 fires in New York City so far this year. Six people have died in those fires.

On the other side of this are people who say they rely on these bikes for their commutes and that an outright ban shouldn't be the only solution.

Retired FDNY Chief Jim Bullock, a fire safety consultant, told Fox 5 News that buildings of a certain size are required to have a storage room for bikes. He said an alternative to a ban could be to make the storage room fireproof, extend the sprinkler system inside the room, and install a fireproof self-closing door.

Bullock said what makes e-bikes so volatile is when the original battery is replaced with an off-brand battery that doesn't match the charger.

Fox 5 News is waiting for a response from the management company of London Terrace Towers about how it would enforce the ban.