Electric Vehicle Fire Safety in NYC: Understanding the Risks and Mitigation Strategies

New York City is witnessing an alarming trajectory in electric vehicle (EV) safety, particularly concerning lithium-ion battery fires. The FDNY reports a disturbing increase in such incidents, with nine fatalities occurring in 2023, nearing the combined total of the previous two years. E-bikes and similar devices have been at the center of these incidents, causing 92 fires and injuring 64 people this year alone​​.

Areas with high concentrations of lower-income residents, including neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, are most affected. These fires often occur in residential properties and public housing apartments, exacerbating the threat to densely populated communities​​.


The Severity and Complexity of Lithium-ion Battery Fires


Lithium-ion battery fires present unique challenges. They are highly volatile, can reignite after being extinguished, and produce toxic, flammable smoke. The nature of these fires often makes escape difficult. In 2023, New York City experienced 108 lithium-ion battery fires, a notable increase from the previous year, highlighting the growing risk these batteries pose in urban environments​​.


Mitigation Strategies: The Role of Fire Blankets


In the face of this increasing threat, effective firefighting tools and strategies are essential. One solution is using fire blankets designed for extreme conditions and EV fires. These blankets, like those offered by Bridgehill Extreme Fire Blankets, are engineered to withstand intense heat and can be crucial in containing and extinguishing fires in EVs, including e-bikes and scooters. The effectiveness of these blankets lies in their ability to isolate the fire source, reducing oxygen flow and quickly bringing the fire under control. 

Furthermore, their ease of use makes them accessible to professional firefighters and everyday users, providing an immediate line of defense in emergencies. This accessibility is especially important in urban environments like New York City, where rapid response can significantly impact the outcome of a fire incident.


Importance of Car Fire Blankets


The significance of car fire blankets in electric vehicle (EV) safety cannot be overstated, particularly in urban settings like New York City. These specialized blankets, designed specifically for vehicles, offer a practical and efficient means to manage and control fires in electric cars. You can find detailed information about such products on Bridgehill’s website, specifically dedicated to car fire blankets, here.

Car fire blankets are crafted to cater to the unique needs of vehicle fires. Their design prioritizes rapid deployment, an essential feature given the critical nature of the initial moments during a vehicle fire. Quick and effective response can drastically reduce the risk of the fire spreading, thereby minimizing potential damage and injury.

These blankets envelop the vehicle, cut off the oxygen supply, and smother the fire. This fire suppression method is particularly useful for lithium-ion battery fires, which are common in electric vehicles. Lithium-ion fires can be challenging to extinguish with traditional methods due to their propensity for reignition and intense heat generation.

Furthermore, the portability and ease of use of car fire blankets make them an invaluable tool not only for professional firefighters but also for individual car owners. Having such a blanket in a vehicle adds an extra layer of safety, allowing drivers to take immediate action in case of a fire, potentially saving lives and property.


Addressing the Wider Spectrum: E-Bikes, Scooters, Cars, and Thermal Runaway


The challenge of ensuring electric vehicle (EV) fire safety in urban areas, particularly New York City, extends beyond electric cars to e-bikes and scooters. These smaller EVs, popular for urban delivery and personal transport, pose significant fire risks, especially when charged improperly or with low-quality or damaged batteries. In densely populated areas, fires involving these vehicles can severely affect communities.

A key aspect of EV fire safety is preventing and managing battery thermal runaway. This phenomenon, where a malfunctioning cell causes a battery to overheat and ignite, can lead to intense and difficult-to-extinguish fires. The risk is heightened in environments with poor charging practices or physical battery damage. Given the compact living conditions in New York City, the potential for large-scale fire incidents involving e-bikes and scooters is particularly high, underscoring the need for increased safety measures.

Adherence to the best battery charging and maintenance practices is essential to combat these risks. Using the correct charger, avoiding overcharging, and timely replacing damaged batteries are crucial steps. Furthermore, integrating fire safety tools like fire blankets into emergency response plans offers additional protection. Fire blankets, designed for EV fires, can efficiently contain and suppress fires, especially in the early stages, making them a valuable asset for professional firefighters and residents. The effective use of these blankets can significantly mitigate the impact of fires in urban settings.

In conclusion, addressing EV fire safety in densely populated areas requires a holistic approach that includes smaller EVs and emphasizes prevention and emergency response. Understanding thermal runaway, practicing safe battery use, and incorporating fire blankets are vital to ensuring the safety of individuals and communities.


The rise in electric vehicle fires in New York City, particularly those involving lithium-ion batteries, highlights a pressing need for awareness, safety measures, and effective firefighting tools. Fire and car fire blankets emerge as essential tools in this battle, offering a practical and effective means to control and extinguish these challenging fires. As the city grapples with this growing threat, it’s imperative to focus on both prevention and response strategies to ensure the safety of its residents and their property.