E-bikes and e-scooters

Fire Safety advice for electric bikes and scooters

Electric bikes and scooters are becoming increasingly popular. Most are powered by lithium-ion batteries which can be charged in the home. The use of these batteries in a wide range of household products is becoming increasingly common.

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 families and homes at risk.

Advice for storing and charging

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storing your electric bike/scooter.

  • Fit smoke or heat detection in the room or garage where you charge or store your electric bike/scooter

  • Store electric bikes/scooters and their batteries in a cool place. Avoid excessively hot or cold places.

  • 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.

  • Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product.

  • Don’t overcharge and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging.

  • Don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home.

  • Don’t cover chargers or battery packs when charging. This could lead to overheating or fire.

  • Don’t charge batteries or store your electric bike/scooter near combustible or flammable materials. In the event of an electric bike/scooter or lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.

  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes/scooters on escape routes or in communal areas where they could impede escape.

Buying

  • Buy electric bikes/scooters and chargers and batteries from reputable retailers. Items which don’t meet British or European standards pose a fire risk.

  • If buying an electric bike conversion kit, purchase from a reputable seller and check that it complies with British or European standards. If buying separate components, check that they are compatible.

  • Ensure you register your appliance with the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) for a safer home.

Damage and disposal of batteries

  • Batteries can be damaged by dropping them or crashing electric bikes/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 be used or charged.

  • 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 electric bike/scooter manufacturer may offer a recycling service. Alternatively, you can take it to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre (Tip).

For further advice visit the NFCC E-bikes and e-scooters fire safety guidance