The relation between fires and e-scooters/ e-bikes is rapidly increasing. By the end of August 2023, the London Fire Brigade had fought 123 fires, compared with 116 in 2022 and 78 in 2021.
The majority of fires related to e-bikes and e-scooters have happened in homes. These fires are often caused when charging the batteries.
It is important to pay special attention to bike conversion kits. Do not attempt to modify or tamper with the battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is important when charging e-bikes and e-scooters, you do so safely to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting your families and homes at risk.
Reduce the risk of overheating:
- Batteries can get warm during their use. Allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge.
- Batteries should always be charged on hard flat surfaces where heat can dissipate.
- Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried.
- Batteries should also never be exposed to extremes of temperature.
Follow the instructions:
- Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when charging.
- Never leave it charging unattended or charge it while you are asleep.
- You should always make sure you unplug your charger once it’s finished charging.
- Always use the correct charger for your batteries and buy any replacements from a reputable seller.
Where to charge your batteries:
- Never block your escape route with e-bikes or e-scooters.
- Store and charge them somewhere away from a main through route or exit.
- Make sure you and your family have an escape plan in place in the event of a fire. Always call 999, never try to fight the fire yourself.
Damage and disposal:
- Batteries can be damaged by dropping them or crashing e-bikes or e-scooters. Where the battery is damaged, it can overheat and catch fire without warning. Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged.
- If you need to dispose of a damaged or end of life battery, don’t dispose of it in your household waste or normal recycling. These batteries, when punctured or crushed can cause fires in bin lorries, recycling and waste centres. Your e-bike or e-scooter manufacturer may offer a recycling service. Alternatively check with your local authority for suitable battery recycling arrangements in your area.