E-bikes and e-scooters are becoming more popular. Most are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged at home. Lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly common in a wide range of household products.
It’s important to charge e-bikes and e-scooters safely to avoid the risk of a fire starting and putting your families and homes at risk.
Charging your e-bike or e-scooter
It’s important that you:
- follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging and always unplug your charger when it’s finished
- ensure you have working smoke alarms. If you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen, ensure you install detection. We recommend heat alarms rather than smoke detectors for these areas
- charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert so if a fire occurs you can respond quickly. Don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home
- always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product. If you spot any signs of damage, buy an official replacement charger from a reputable seller
- don’t cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating or a fire
- don’t charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near flammable materials
- don’t overcharge your battery. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times
- don’t overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads
In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire, don’t attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.
Storing your e-bike or e-scooter
When storing your e-bike or e-scooter, make sure that you:
- don’t store or charge e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes. If there’s a fire, it can affect people’s ability to get to safety
- store e-bikes and e-scooters and their batteries in a cool place. Avoid storing them in excessively hot or cold areas
- follow manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium-ion batteries
Buying your e-bike or e-scooter
When buying an e-bike or an e-scooter, it’s important to consider:
- buying your e-bike, your e-scooter, the charger and the batteries from reputable retailers
- that many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods. Items which don’t meet British or European standards pose a huge fire risk. Buying a fake charger could potentially destroy your home
- buying an e-bike conversion kit from a reputable seller. Check that it complies with British or European standards and take care if buying from an online auction or fulfilment platforms. Also be aware that if you need to buy separate components, you should check that they are compatible
- registering your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties. Registering makes it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of safety or recall information
- checking any products you’ve bought aren’t subject to a product recall. This can be checked on Electrical Safety First
Damage and disposal
Batteries can be damaged by dropping them or crashing e-bikes or e-scooters. Where the battery is damaged, it can overheat and catch fire without warning. Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage. If you suspect that it’s damaged then it should be replaced.
If you need to dispose of a damaged or end of life battery, don’t dispose of it in your normal household waste. These batteries can cause fires in bin lorries, recycling and waste centres.