Keeping safe when using E-bikes and E-Scooters | News

Keeping safe when using E-bikes and E-Scooters

Fire and rescue services have reported an increase in the numbers of incidents involving the lithium batteries used in e-cycles and e-scooters. We thought we’d share with you some tips issued by London Fire Brigade on how to stay safe when using an e-bike or e-scooter.

How can you reduce the risk of fire when you charge an e-bike or e-scooter?

There a number of ways you can reduce the risks when charging lithium batteries:

  • Don’t block your exit with charging batteries or e-bike and e-scooters. If a fire breaks out, you won’t be able to safely leave your home. Store them in a shed or garage where possible
  • Keep an eye out for warning signs that your battery might be failing and becoming a fire risk
  • Never leave your battery to charge when you are out or whilst you sleep
  • Make sure your battery and charger meet UK safety standards
  • Use the correct charger for your battery, and make sure to buy from a reputable seller
  • Let you battery cool before charging it
  • Unplug your charger once the battery has charged
  • Fit smoke alarms in the area where you charge your batteries

Before a failing lithium battery catches fire, there are often a few warning signs. If you see any of these signs. you'll need to take immediate action to stay safe and reduce the risk of fire.

The warning signs your e-bike or e-bike battery is a fire hazard

  • Heat: It’s normal for batteries to generate some heat when charging or in use. However if your device’s battery feels extremely hot to the touch, there’s chance it’s defective and may start a fire
  • Bulging: A battery bulging or swelling out of shape is a common sign of it failing. If your battery looks swollen, you should stop using it immediately. Similar signs include any type of lump or leaking from the device
  • Noise: Failing lithium batteries have also been reported to make hissing or cracking sounds
  • Smell: If you notice a strong or unusual smell coming from the battery, this could also be a sign of it failing 
  • Performance: A failure to fully charge or longer charge times can be a sign that your battery is failing
  • Smoke: If your battery or device is smoking, a fire has already started 

What you should do if your lithium battery is a fire risk

If your battery shows any of these signs of failing, Immediately turn off the device and unplug it from the power source.  Call the device manufacturer or retailer for further instructions. If the device starts smoking or catches fire, raise the alarm, get out, stay out and call 999 immediately. If you’ve spotted the warning signs, make sure you report your faulty battery to your local Trading Standards office.

 Disposing of a lithium battery

Lithium batteries should not be placed in the same bins as your regular rubbish or recycling. If they overheat, they may cause it to catch fire. Instead check your local authority's website for the safe way to dispose of lithium batteries in your area.

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