E-scooter and e-bike safety

Do you have an e-scooter or e-bike or thinking of buying one? They are becoming more popular as a quick and easy way to get around, but without the correct charging and storage they can be a fire risk.

Fire services have already seen a rise in fires from e-bikes and e-scooters. This is because they are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which cause significant fires that spread quickly if they are not charged, stored and disposed of correctly.

We’re working closely with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to share some important safety tips if you have an e-scooter or e-bike.

Charging

• follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging

• charge batteries whilst you are awake so if a fire starts you can act quickly. Don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or not home

• always use the manufacturer approved charger, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage buy an official replacement charger for your product from a reputable seller

• do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating or even a fire

• do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials

• do not overcharge your battery – check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times


Storage

• follow manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium-ion batteries if they are not going to be used for extended periods of time

• you must store your e-bike or e-scooter in your home. Try to store it in a cool place

• if your home has communal areas, you must not store or charge your e-scooter or e-bike in it

Buying

• buy e-bikes, e-scooters, chargers and batteries from reputable retailers

• many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods. Items which don’t meet British or European standards pose a huge fire risk and while genuine chargers (or battery packs) may cost more, it’s not worth putting your life at risk and potentially destroying your home by buying a fake charger to save a few pounds

• if buying an e-bike conversion kit, purchase from a reputable seller and check that it complies with British or European standards. Take particular care if buying from online auction. Also be aware that if buying separate components, you should check that they are compatible

• register your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties – batteries are usually included in warranties. Registering makes it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of safety or recall information

• check any product you have bought is not subject to a product recall. You can do this but checking Electrical Safety First’s website or the government website

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 use or charge it

• 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

General advice

• make sure you have working smoke alarms. If you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen ensure you install detection, we recommend heat alarms rather smoke detectors for these areas
• in the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire, do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999
• Enjoy and ride your e-bike or e-scooter safely, ensuring you are riding within the law. See further information on the Gov.uk website: e-bike rules and for e-scooters

If you have any questions or concerns about e-scooter or e-bikes in your home or building please get in touch – call us 07801 532 594 or email buildingsafety@gentoogroup.com

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