Lithium-ion batteries, E-bikes and e-scooters

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and are used in many personal electronic products. 

If you use a product that is powered by a Lithium-ion battery, there are some important things you need to do and remember to help stay safe.

Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and are used in many personal electronic products such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, electric toothbrushes, tools, hoverboards, scooters and vaping devices.

When purchasing, using and storing an electrical product that uses a lithium-ion battery, be sure to:

  • buy from a reputable retailer – if the price is too good to be true it probably is
  • refer to manufacturer’s guidance on charging and storing
  • only charge during the day when you are at home
  • always unplug after use
  • register electrical items at
  • avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures.

Remember to protect batteries against being damaged, such as being crushed, punctured or immersed in water.

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 :

  1. follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  2. always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging
  3. 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
  4. never overcharge your battery (check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times)
  5. do not cover the charger when charging because it could overheat or cause a fire
  6. always charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter away from any materials that could catch fire
  7. make sure you have working smoke alarms
  8. 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.

Kevin's story...

Kevin Record is urging people to take extra caution when charging and storing e-scooters, and any other devices with lithium-ion batteries, after he suffered life-changing injuries in a fire in which he lost his home and his dog.

Read Kevin's story...