E Bikes and E Scooter Dangers
We want to share some information regarding e bikes and e scooters which are becoming increasingly popular. Most are powered by lithium-ion batteries which can be charged in the home.
You must NEVER charge a battery in the communal hallways of a block of flats. If there is a fire it can affect people’s ability to escape if they need to. If you are charging these within your home, you should do so safely to avoid the risk of a fire starting.
Summary of why fires are occurring:
- New batteries purchased online may not be from a trusted supplier.
- Fires tend to happen whilst on charge (over heating / damaged cells).
- Fires often happen if charged on a carpet.
- Batteries can be damaged by dropping them or crashing e bikes or scooters. When the battery is damaged it can overheat and catch fire without warning.
- Only buy products and chargers from a reputable company.
- Check your product has not been subject to a product recall.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always unplug when you have finished charging.
- Fires are commonly located in communal areas or escape routes. NEVER STORE OR CHARGE IN A COMMUNAL HALLWAY.
- If on charge batteries should be charged on hard / flat surface for heat to dissipate.
- If knocked/ damaged do not use. The cells can split and they can ignite or explode.
- Do not charge whilst asleep or if you are away from the home.
- Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product.
- Check for signs of wear and tear and if there are don’t use.
- Do not cover with or store near flammable materials
- Smoke alarms to be fitted where equipment is being charged – ensure they work.
- Never dispose of batteries in your household rubbish or recycling.
Take a Moment:
Please follow this link to see what can happen https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/2021-news/july/fire-investigators-issue-urgent-warning-over-fires-involving-e-bike-batteries/
Recent incidents attended by firefighters:
On 15 March, Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters tackled a fire at a flat on Callender Road in Erith which involved an electric scooter which was on charge. A woman and a child were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
On 1 May, firefighters were called to a blaze at a flat on Poynders Road in Clapham. It was caused by a fault in a battery unit for an electric bike which was on charge at the time of the fire.
On 24 May, a first floor flat on Tierney Road in Brixton was badly damaged after a fire caused by a fault in the lithium-ion battery pack of a mountain bike which had been converted into an e-bike.
On 26 May, five people were taken to hospital after a fire at a flat on Flint Street in Southwark. The fire was caused by the failure of part of a battery in an electric scooter on charge.
On 9 June, a person was taken to hospital after a fire at a maisonette on Newnham Road in Wood Green. It was caused by the failure of a battery fitted to an electric bike that was on charge at the time of the fire.
Take a Moment:
Please follow this link to see some explanation and advice https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/the-home/electrical-items/batteries-and-chargers/
Currently there is limited data relating to the number of fires, but London Fire Brigade reported 8 fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters in 2019. This rose to twenty-four in 2020 and fifty-nine by December 2021. As of 27th June 2022, so far this year, the London Fire Brigade has attended 56 fires involving lithium-ion batteries, 32 of which were e-bikes and seven were e-scooters.
The issue of unregulated e-scooters and e-bikes is currently due to be addressed in the new Transport Bill, which will introduce a low-speed, zero-emission vehicle category that should allow light electric vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters to be fully regulated and legalised.
We want you to enjoy your e bike or e scooter but we urge you to take care for your safety and the safety of others that live close by to you.