Electric scooters and e-bikes have become a cheap, convenient and environmentally friendly way to travel around town.  However, a recent spate of local e-bike and e-scooter fires means it’s important to understand their possible risks. Find out our top recommendations and precautions to keep your e-bike and e-scooter fire safe.

Know the risk

E-scooters and e-bikes (known as light electric vehicles or LEVs) rely on lithium-ion batteries for power, which are known to pose fire risks if mishandled or damaged.  People have been hurt or killed when the LEVs, have burst into flames.

There have been several recent incidents reported in NSW where LEVs have caught fire causing major damage to property and homes.  These incidents emphasise the need for increased awareness and proactive measures to mitigate fire risks.

Battery Maintenance and Charging

Proper battery maintenance and charging practices are vital in preventing fire accidents. Riders should carefully read the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure they adhere to recommendations that decrease the risk of fire. Additionally, it is essential to store electric scooters and bikes in well-ventilated areas and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as these conditions can compromise the battery’s integrity. Fire NSW recommends that a smoke alarm or heat alarm be installed in garages where the LEV is stored.  They also recommend never leaving LEVS unattended when they are charging and keeping them well away from flammable materials such as blankets, clothing or paper.

Regular Inspections

Regular inspections and maintenance play a crucial role in fire prevention. From the recent fires reported, it was faulty electrical components or damaged batteries that have led to the LEV fire. To avoid such incidents, riders should routinely inspect their electric vehicles for any signs of wear and tear, loose connections, leaking, bulging or abnormal heat emission. Any concerns should be promptly addressed by a qualified professional or the manufacturer’s authorised service centre.

Ride Safe

Fire prevention is not limited to maintenance and charging, safe riding also contributes to reducing fire risks. Riders should avoid overloading their electric scooters or bikes with excessive weight, as this can strain the battery and increase the likelihood of overheating. It’s also crucial to ride defensively, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. In the event of an accident, it is important to disconnect the battery and seek professional help to inspect for potential damage or fire hazards.

Be Prepared

While prevention should be your focus, being prepared for emergencies is equally important. Riders should familiarise themselves with the location of fire extinguishers and have a basic understanding of how to use them. Owning a small fire extinguisher specifically designed for electrical fires is a smart precaution. Additionally, riders should have a clear understanding of emergency exit routes within their buildings and the contact information for local emergency services.

While e-scooters and e-bikes have transformed urban transport, recent fires in the local area have highlighted the importance of fire safety and prevention in using these vehicles. By understanding the risks, practicing proper battery maintenance and charging, conducting regular inspections, adopting safe riding practices, and being prepared for emergencies, riders can significantly reduce the likelihood of fire-related incidents and can enjoy their rides with peace of mind.

Global Fire are fire safety professionals who can help keep your building, business and people safe from a devastating fire.  For more information about how we can assist you, please contact our friendly team on 1300 88 70 18 inquiries@globalfire.com.au