The Department for Transport has launched new guidance to enhance e-bike and e-scooter safety including how to purchase, store and charge e-bikes and e-scooters.  The full document can be read on the website.

The document also advises that e-scooters cannot be used legally on roads unless they are part of an official rental trial. 

Fire England has also published guidance on how to keep your home safe when charging e-bikes and e-scooters. E-bikes and e-scooters are powered by lithium-ion batteries.  

Before a lithium-ion battery catches fire, there may be warning signs that it is about to fail and if you observe any of these signs immediate action should be taken and the battery should not be used.  The full article can be read here: Fire England

Battery warning signs: 

An e-bike/e-scooter battery fire can develop quickly and the formation of smoke or a white vapour cloud could indicate the start of battery failure and fire. 

The following are signs that battery may be a fire hazard: 

• Overheating: If the battery feels hot to the touch

• Deformation: If the battery looks swollen, this includes any type of lump or leaking from the device.

• Noise: If the battery is emitting hissing or cracking sounds.

• Smell: If you notice a strong or unusual smell coming from the battery

• Performance: If the battery does not fully charge or is taking longer to charge than normal

• Smoke: If the battery or device is smoking.

Action to take if the device starts to smoke OR catches fire: 

• Raise the alarm, get out, stay out and call 999 immediately. 

• If the battery shows signs of failure, turn off the device and unplug it from the power source immediately. 

• Call the device manufacturer or retailer for further advice.

How to reduce the risk of fires from your e-bikes or e-scooters’ lithium-ion battery:

Most fires related to e-bikes and e-scooters have happened in the home. These fires often occur when batteries are being charged. 

To safely charge your e-bike or e-scooter:

• Don’t charge e-bikes and e-scooters in bedrooms or where escape routes can be blocked including hallways.

• Don’t leave your battery charging unattended or when you are out or while you are asleep.

• Don’t cover chargers or battery packs when charging

• Don’t overload sockets or use inappropriate extension leads

• Don’t charge or store batteries in direct sunlight or in hot locations (above 45⁰C)

• Don’t charge batteries close to combustible materials or hazardous substances.

• Always unplug your charger when you have finished charging

• If your battery can be removed from your e-bike or e-scooter and charged separately, it should be charged on a hard flat surface where heat can disperse and in area with good ventilation.

• For more detailed information about battery safety for your e-cycle or e-scooter, see the guidance published by the Department for Transport:

• Battery safety guidance for e-cycles

• Battery safety guidance for e-scooters

Fire Safety:

• In your home, ensure that you have fitted and working smoke alarms in the area where you charge batteries and test them once a month to make sure they work.

• Make sure you and other occupants have an escape plan in place in the event of a fire. Always get out, stay out, call 999 and never try to fight the fire yourself.

Maintaining e-bikes and e-scooters:

• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging and using the e-bike/e-scooter.

• Only use a manufacturer supplied/approved battery and charger.

• If you need a replacement battery or charger for your e-bike or e-scooter go directly back to the manufacturer or retailer you bought it from to ensure it’s safe.

• Regularly inspect your product and check for damage or warning signs that your battery might be failing and becoming a fire risk.

• Don’t attempt to modify or tamper with your battery.

Buying e-bikes and e-scooters:

• Ensure that you only purchase e-bikes, e-scooters, chargers and batteries from reputable retailers and manufacturers.

• Check the product is marked with a CE or UKCA mark to ensure they comply with UK product safety standards.

• Check product reviews before buying

• Register your product with the manufacturer to validate warranties and to make it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of a safety issue e.g. product recall.

• You can check product recalls by visiting the government Product Recalls and Alerts website at:

E-Bike conversion kits:

• Conversion kits change standard bicycles into e-bikes.

• It is recommended that only professionals carry out e-bike conversions. They will be responsible for ensuring that the e-bike is safe and fitted with the correct motor, battery and charger.

• Installing a conversion kit yourself could lead to safety issues with the e-bike and increase the risk of fire.

• Furthermore, it could invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty and make you responsible for any consequent damage or accident. 

Disposing of a lithium-ion battery

• Lithium-ion batteries should not be placed in the same bins as your regular rubbish or recycling. They can cause a fire if they overheat or when crushed in bin lorries or waste and recycling plants.

• To find out how to recycle a lithium-ion battery, visit your local Council website or nearest recycling centre:

This article is provided for information purposes only.  Express Fire Equipment Ltd. does not accept liability or the interpretation of any information contained in this article. 

Express Fire supplies a range of products including fire extinguishers and fire blankets that are designed to specially combat lithium-ion fires.

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