Safely charging e-bikes and e-scooters

We’ve been made aware of a recent fire in a customer’s home where it is believed that the fire started due to an electric bike that had been left charging overnight. Thankfully no-one was injured, but there was considerable damage to the property and the occupier has lost many of their personal possessions.

An increasing number of people have e-bikes and e-scooters, and most of them have lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged in the home. It’s really important that, when charging e-bikes and e-scooters, you do so safely to reduce the fire risk.

Here are some useful tips on charging e-bikes and e-scooters from the National Fire Chiefs Council:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging, and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms.
  • Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert so if a fire should occur you can respond quickly. Don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home.
  • Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product.
  • If you need a new charger, buy an official replacement charger 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 flammable materials.
  • Do not overcharge your battery – check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times.
  • Do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads.
  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas of a multi occupied building. If there’s a fire, it can affect everyone’s ability to escape.

Remember to buy e-bikes, e-scooters and chargers/batteries from reputable retailers. They should include the correct CE marking so that you know that they meet the required safety standards. Make sure you do your research before making a purchase.

In the event of a lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.