March 11, 2024

Effective March 7, 2024, new fire code legislation takes effect for lithium-ion batteries for Powered Mobility Devices in San Francisco.

Following New York City in 2023 the city of San Francisco has developed a new fire code in effect as of March 7 regarding the use and charging of lithium ion batteries. Hopefully the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) moved much faster on its hinting of taking action on batteries this year because to have many sets of state and local laws regarding batteries is going to be very confusing and disruptive for the industry. The longer the CPSC waits the worse this problem is going to get with conflicting state and local laws. Also some of these fire code issues like with this one deal with the storage and charging aspects (that affect users and more importantly retailers) that go beyond a "product only" design type of standard which I expect out of CPSC at some point.

The new code section available in full here defines Powered Mobility Devices (PMDs) as devices powered by a lithium-ion battery with the primary purpose of transporting people, such as electric bikes, scooters, hoverboards, or skateboards. PMDs do not include wheelchairs or other devices used by persons with disabilities.
- All PMDs in San Francisco must be Safety-Certified, which is defined as compliance with one of the following certification requirements:
 Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards UL 2849 or UL 2272
 European (EN) standards EN 15194 or EN 17128
 Other safety standard of an accredited laboratory, approved by the San Francisco Fire Department.

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