E-bikes, e-scooters and hoverboards are becoming increasingly popular. But the lithium-ion batteries they’re powered by can start fires that spread quickly and are difficult to extinguish.
Fires caused by these batteries represent the fastest-growing fire trend, according to data from the London Fire Brigade.
On average, they were called to an e-bike or e-scooter fire once every two days in 2023.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can reduce the risk of fire.
Buying e-bikes and e-scooters
Many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods which don’t meet British or European safety standards.
While genuine products may cost more, it’s not worth putting your life at risk and potentially destroying your home by buying a fake product or charger to save a few pounds. Remember:
Make purchases from reputable retailers and manufacturers
Avoid buying cheaper parts online
Check the product is marked with a CE or UKCA mark to ensure they comply with UK product safety standards
Check if the product has been recalled. If you’re in doubt, trust your instincts and don’t buy it.
Don’t forget to register your product with the manufacturer to receive any safety or recall information
Visit our Savvy Shopper hub for more tips on shopping safely.
Charging your e-bike or e-scooter
It is important, when charging e-bikes and e-scooters, you do so safely to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting your family and home at risk.
Have a read of the instructions before you plug it in
Use the manufacturer-approved charger
Avoid charging the battery overnight or when you’re out
Don’t leave charging for any longer than it needs to fully charge
Discover more ways to keep your family safe when charging your e-bike or e-scooter
Fit smoke alarms in the area where you charge your batteries and test them once a month to make sure they work.
Make sure you and your family know how you would escape from your home if a fire starts.
If you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen, the National Fire Chiefs Council recommend heat alarms rather than smoke detectors for these areas.
Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on routes you could use to escape from your home if there’s a fire
In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire – do not try to put the fire out. Get out, stay out, call 999.
Download our Fire safe families fact sheet to learn more
Why do e-bike and e-scooter batteries explode?
This video from Electrical Safety First shows why e-bike and e-scooter batteries overheat and explode.