E-bikes and e-scooters
South Essex Homes recognises that e-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular and can be extremely useful for residents in getting around the city. However, we are concerned about the rising number of fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters, specifically the lithium-ion batteries which charge these and other personal electronic devices. While it would be impossible and unfair, for us to prevent residents from owning these or other similarly powered devices, we would ask residents who are considering purchasing an e-bike or e-scooter, to follow some basic rules to make sure they do not put themselves or others at risk.
- Buy e-bikes, e-scooters, chargers, and batteries from reputable retailers. Many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods, items which don’t meet British or European standards pose a huge fire risk.
- If you are buying an e-bike conversion kit, purchase from a reputable seller and check that it complies with British or European standards. Take particular care if you are buying from online platforms. Also be aware that if buying separate components, you should check that they’re compatible.
- Register your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties.
- Check any products you have bought are not subject to a product recall: Product Recalls & Safety Notices | Electrical Safety First
It’s important when charging e-bikes and e-scooters that you do so safely to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting your family and home at risk. The London Fire Brigade has recently warned that they have seen a huge spike in fires as a result of electric bikes and e-scooters.
When charging your e-bike or e-scooter, it’s important to:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always unplug your charger when its finished charging.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm in the area where you charge your e-bike or e-scooter.
- Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert. Do not charge batteries overnight while you are asleep or away from home.
- Always use the approved manufacturers charger for the e-bike or e-scooter. Buy an official replacement charger from a reputable seller.
- Do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating.
- Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials.
- Do not over charge the battery.
- Do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads.
For more information on how to safely charge your e-bike or e-scooter, please visit https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/the-home/e-scooters-and-e-bikes/.
Please note residents aren’t permitted to store or charge e-bike and e-scooters in communal areas as any items left there can block emergency exit routes and create a fire risk. SEH will remove and dispose of any items that cause a health and safety risk.
Damage and disposal
- Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage. If damaged, it should be replaced and shouldn't be used or charged – damaged batteries can overheat and catch fire without warning.
- 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 e-bike or e-scooter manufacturer may offer a recycling service. Alternatively, check with your local authority for suitable battery recycling arrangements.