E-bikes and e-scooters
If you own or use an e-bike or e-scooter, there are some important things you need to do and remember when charging your e-bike or e-scooter to stay safe and avoid endangering yourself, your loved ones and your home.
E-bikes and e-scooters are mostly powered by lithium-ion batteries and can be charged at home. However, if they are not charged correctly and safely, these batteries can catch fire, or fail catastrophically and ‘explode’ , or lead to a fire.
By following some simple guidelines which you'll find below, you can help to reduce the risk of fire.
Remember: if your e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery catches fire - Get out, stay out, call 999 - do not try to put out the fire yourself.
Learn what you can do to stay safe when you own or use an e-bike or e-scooter ...
When charging your e-bike, e-scooter or lithium battery please :
- follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging
- always charge batteries when you are awake and alert, ensuring you can act quickly if there’s a fire. Do not charge them when you are asleep or away from home
- never overcharge your battery (check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times)
- do not cover the charger when charging because it could overheat or cause a fire
- always charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter away from any materials that could catch fire
- make sure you have working smoke alarms
- if you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen make sure you install fire detection - we recommend heat alarms rather smoke alarms or detectors for these areas
When using sockets and extension leads
When charging never overload plug sockets or use inappropriate extension leads. Make sure extensions are un-coiled and the lead is suitably rated for what you are plugging in to it.
(For more information about extension cables and leads see our ‘Electricity’ section under ‘E’ of our Home Safety Advice ).
Please remember . . .
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
Storing your e-bike or e-scooter and their batteries
- store your e-bike or e-scooter in a cool place. Avoid storing them in very hot or cold areas.
- store and charge your e-bike or e-scooter away from escape routes in your home and communal areas if you live in a multi-occupied building, because if there is a fire it can affect people’s ability to escape
If you’re not going to use the bike or scooter for a long period, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium-ion batteries.
If you are a Responsible Person for a building
You should consider the risks posed by e-bikes and e-scooters that are charged or left in common areas such as means of escape areas, bike stores and mobility scooter charging rooms. You may wish to offer advice to residents on the safe use, storage and charging of these products.
It is important to buy e-bikes, e-scooters, chargers and batteries from reputable retailers.
The dangers of counterfeit electrical goods
Many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods and items that do not meet British or European standards pose a huge fire risk. Please remember - while genuine chargers (or battery packs) may cost more, buying a cheaper fake charger can put your life at risk and potentially destroy your home
Buying an e-bike conversion kit:
• purchase from a reputable seller
• check that it complies with British or European standards
• take particular care if buying from online auction or fulfilment platforms or companies
• be aware that if buying separate components, you should check that they are compatible
Register your product
Register your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties – batteries are usually included in warranties. Registering makes it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of safety or recall information.
Check any products you have bought are not subject to a product recall. You can do this by checking Electrical Safety First’s website or the government website.
Damage and disposal
Did you know?
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 and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged.
Disposing of lithium-ion batteries
If you need to dispose of a damaged or end-of-life battery, please don’t dispose of it in your household waste or normal recycling. When punctured or crushed these batteries 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 in your area.