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Safety reminder for e-bike owners

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take care when charging lithium-ion batteries.

The Service was called to two incidents over the weekend involving e-bike batteries; one fire was extinguished by the owner before firefighters arrived on scene, but the other caused significant damage to a house.

Station Manager Dave Geddes said: “There is always a risk that lithium-ion batteries can fail catastrophically, ‘explode’ and/or lead to a rapidly developing fire. We would therefore always urge anyone with an e-bike or e-scooter to take every precaution to ensure that is charged as safely as possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, unplug the charger as soon as it’s finished, and only ever use the correct charger.”

Other top tips include:

  • Make sure 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 – heat alarms rather than smoke detectors are recommended for these areas.

  • Charge batteries whilst 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.

  • Don’t cover chargers or battery packs when charging, as this could lead to overheating or even a fire.

  • Don’t overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads (use uncoiled extensions and make sure the lead is suitably rated for what you are plugging into it).

  • Avoid storing or charging 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.

  • Full safety advice can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/e-bikes-and-e-scooters

    Smaller lithium-ion batteries can also be found in devices such as mobile phones, tablets and e-cigarettes. These also carry a fire risk, and further safety advice can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/batteries

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    Rachel Clements
    (Fire & Rescue, Area Command, Dorset & Wiltshire)

    Neighbourhood Alert Cyber Essentials