After we posted An E-Bike for E-veryone last week, our good friend of STYLE of SPORT, actress and producer Alysia Reiner, reached out to ask if we were interested in a follow-up safety tips article. There has been much in the news recently about fires started by the Lithium-Ion batteries that power e-bikes when not stored or charged properly. It turns out Alysia has firsthand knowledge. She is a volunteer firefighter too!
It’s hard to miss this busy actress on the numerous television series in which she has both starring and guest roles. She plays DODC Agent Sadie Deever in the new Disney+/Marvel TV series, Ms. Marvel, and is well known for her character Natalie “FIG” Figueroa on all 7 seasons of Orange Is the New Black, for which she won a SAG Award. Alysia just finished her 5th season on the Peabody Award-winning Better Things on F/X x HULU, and also just wrapped 2 seasons on HBO’s The Deuce. She is about to start her second season on STARZ’s Shining Vale. So how did Alysia end up in the real-life role of firefighter too?
When the pandemic shut down the entertainment industry, Alysia retreated with her family to Fire Island, NY for what became a much-needed respite. “We felt so fortunate and safe there during Covid — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. After Covid I wanted to give back to this incredible community that I felt saved my life. So I became a volunteer firefighter.”
There are no cars on Fire Island, where a volunteer firefighter is a first responder, but because of the word “volunteer”, Alysia thought the training would be much easier than it actually was. “I didn’t anticipate I would have to train like FDNY has to train.”
Becoming a firefighter requires a physical ability test known as the CPAT, with events such as the stair climb, hose drag, ladder raise and extension, search and rescue, ceiling breach and more. There were written tests and exams every week. “When I was training, I would talk to myself before my drills and say, ‘I am a firefighter and I’m fierce as fuck’! Alysia passed her firefighters exam a year ago and last summer was her first on the job.
In NYC, e-battery related fires are up almost 233% according to Inside Edition, and have resulted in 163 injuries and 10 deaths. If you just got a new e-bike or electric scooter over the holidays, or have been riding one for a while, Firefighter Alysia wanted to be sure you had these safety tips to go with it.
“The importance of your lithium battery items being safety tested, proper recycling of batteries, and where you store battery charged items is KEY”, says Alysia. “Never leave them plugged in overnight, and if it were me, I would NEVER store an e-bike INSIDE my home.”
#FDNYSmart Safety Tips for Devices with Lithium-Ion Batteries
~ When purchasing devices, be sure that the equipment has the Underwriters Laboratories Mark. The UL mark shows the product has been safety tested.
~ Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage.
~ Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or a couch.
~ Always use the manufacturer’s cord and power adapter made specifically for the device.
~ Keep batteries/devices at room temperature. Do not place in direct sunlight.
~ Store batteries away from anything flammable. If a battery overheats or you notice an odor, change in shape/color, leaking, or odd noises from a device discontinue use immediately. If safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 9-1-1.
~ Putting lithium-ion batteries in the trash or recycling at home is illegal.
~ Recycle batteries by taking them to a battery recycling location or visiting nyc.gov/batteries for disposal instructions is always the best option.
~ Individually bag batteries or tape ends before disposing.
*This high-shine sustainable Izzy lip gloss in two signature shades was developed by Zero Waste Eco Emissary Alysia Reiner and Izzy founder Shannon Goldberg. It’s clean, refillable, and CarbonNeutral® for minimal impact to the environment. Get 20% off with special code: Aly20
Read more with Alysia Reiner on STYLE of SPORT: