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Charging and storage of e-bikes and e-scooters

There is growing concern over the rise in fatalities, injuries and devastating fires from electric bikes and electric scooters

Tragically, in the first three months of 2023 alone, fires from lithium-ion batteries used to power these devices had already taken four lives in the UK, left others hospitalised or seriously injured and caused extensive damage to property.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) describes lithium-ion battery fires as the capital’s fastest emerging and growing fire risk. Here in Lewisham our residents' safety is our top priority and in order to continue to keep our residents safe we are issuing the following guidance for charging and using e bikes and scooters.

Charging

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging
  • 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 smoke detectors for these areas
  • Charge batteries while you are awake and alert so if a fire should occur 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, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage buy an official replacement charger for your product from a reputable seller
  • Do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating or even a fire
  • Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials
  • Do not overcharge your battery – check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times
  • Do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads (use un-coiled extensions and ensure the lead is suitably rated for what you are plugging in to it)
  • In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire, do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.

Storage

  • Never store or charge e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas of a multi occupied building. If there’s a fire, it can affect people’s ability to escape
  • 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 if they are not going to be used for extended periods of time

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