With the popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters continuing to rise, it is important to know how to charge and store them safely. Most e-bikes and e-scooters use lithium-ion batteries which can be easily charged at home. Whilst this is convenient, it can create a fire risk if not done safely. Fires could occur from poorly designed batteries, from charging them incorrectly or from damage to the battery. In the event that the battery is ignited, it could lead to a fire. London Fire Brigade reported eight fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters in 2019, 24 in 2020 and 59 by December 2021.
How to reduce e-bike and e-scooter fire risk:
- Don’t store or charge e-bike and e-scooters in communal areas as this can block emergency exit routes and create a fire risk
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Unplug your charger when its finished charging and don’t overcharge
- Choose to charge batteries in an area with a smoke alarm
- Don’t charge batteries overnight while you are asleep or away from home
- Always use the approved manufacturer's charger for the e-bike or e-scooter
- Don’t cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating
- Don't charge batteries in areas of high temperature and sunlight
- Don’t charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials
- Don’t overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads
- Be wary of ‘DIY kits’ to convert a standard bike into an e-bike
More information on how to safely charge your e-bike or e-scooter can be found on the National Fire Chief's website.
If you suspect that you have a faulty e-bike, stop using it immediately and report the fault to the manufacturer or retailer. You can also contact the Electrical Safety First Charity's Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 04 05 06.