E-scooters, e-bikes and mobility scooters are a really useful way of travelling for many people – but like all electrical items, they come with risks.

We want to help you identify these and hopefully prevent a fire.

The main fire risk is the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery used to charge these appliances.

There is a heightened risk of explosion because of something called a ‘thermal runway’ where internal temperatures of the battery continue to increase making it unstable.

Lithium is a highly flammable and particularly dangerous because of the high energy density.

E-bikes and e-scooters are not the only appliances which use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. They are also found in mobility scooters, mobile phones, powerpacks, laptops, children’s toys, power tools and e-cigarettes.

Risks can be reduced, by taking note of the following:

  • Buy e-bikes and e-scooters, chargers and batteries from reputable retailers. Register your product with the manufacturer and check the product isn’t subject to a product re-call.
  • Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product, 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 charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials
  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes or e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas of multi-occupancy buildings. If there is a fire, it can affect people’s ability to escape.
  • Never leave your appliance charging overnight or when you are away from the property – always keep it in sight
  • Make sure you charge your appliance in a well ventilated area and do not cover the battery
  • When charging always follow the manufacturers instructions.
  • Always unplug your charger when it is finished charging
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms, especially in the area where you are charging your lithium battery

In the event of a fire involving an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery NEVER attempt to tackle it yourself. It is important to remember water isn’t effective at extinguishing a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery fire and can actually make it worse – Get out, stay out, and call 999.

Please remember, when disposing of a lithium battery, this can’t be done in your household waste – you must take this to a household refuse and recycling plant or contact your local authority for more information.

More information can be found at http://www.batteryfiresafety.co.uk