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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service talk E-Scooter Fires – What causes them and how to avoid?

Over the last few years we have seen a huge rise in the popularity of e-scooter use by members of the public.

It is currently illegal in the UK and Ireland to ride an electric scooter on public highways and pavements. However, people continue to purchase them for use on private land. Due to demand, prices of e-scooters have significantly increased leaving many to look for much cheaper options. .

Last week, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue (BFRS)attended the scene of a house fire caused by a faulty e-scooter that could have been fatal for the residents, but luckily no one was hurt. Following the incident, BFRS’s Protection team found that scooters sourced from cheaper retailers or online from overseas manufacturers may be unreliable and more prone to catching fire.

c supports London Fire Brigade in their warnings to the public about fires caused by e-scooters. Station Officer Matt Cullen is a Fire Investigation Officer with the London Fire Brigade and has been looking into the spate of fires. He said: “We have seen that when these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity which can leave residents with few safe options for escape.

“These bikes and scooters are often stored and charged in escape routes in homes or communal areas so when a fire does occur, escape routes are blocked which immediately makes an already serious situation much more frightening for those involved.”

He also mentions that some people have been attempting ‘DIY’ e-scooters which have additional risks due to not being subjected to the correct checks and fire risk assessments. These are converted push bikes with separate batteries and are more likely to result in a fire.

It is the battery of an e-scooter which is usually the source of the fire. Cheaper models have lithium-ion rechargeable batteries fitted. Poor quality or damaged ones which have been subjected to more relaxed methods of quality control may fail and cause a thermal reaction and explosion.

 

 

Safety advice

If you are looking to purchase an electric scooter, make sure you adhere to the following guidance:

  • Buy from a reputable retailer – if the price is too good to be true it probably is!
  • Refer to the manufacturers guidance on charging and storing
  • Always charge during the day when you are at home
  • Always unplug after use
  • Register electrical items at https://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/
  • Avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures
  • Protect batteries against being damaged – that's crushed, punctured or immersed in water
  • Do not over charge your product - once your item is fully charged, disconnect it and turn the charger off

 

For further advice visit https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/electric-scooters/article/electric-scooters-everything-you-need-to-know-aE1171G3KWc8