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Tags: e-bike

‘It doesn’t have to be charging to blow up’ – e-bike causes devastating fire whilst unplugged

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Sydney family loses home due to e-bike fire

A Sydney family’s home was destroyed by a fire caused by an unplugged e-bike, as reported by The Daily Telegraph.

Chris and Kate were on holiday with their children when they received the devastating news from their dog sitter that their house was engulfed in flames.

The fire, which started around 8 am on January 16, 2023, was traced back to an e-bike in their garage. The dog sitter heard a hiss and a pop before noticing the fire.

Chris said: “She was incredibly lucky and was able to take our dog out with her. If she wasn’t awake and didn’t hear those first sparks, she would be dead.”

Struggles with insurance and rebuilding

Chris and his family faced numerous challenges following the fire, including a prolonged insurance battle.

Chris expressed his frustration: “The nine-month insurance battle that came after was even worse.”

The family was forced to couch surf with relatives and move multiple times while still paying the mortgage on their uninhabitable home.

Despite these difficulties, Chris and his family tried to find solace by spending time in Southeast Asia.

Chris explained: “We were struggling mentally and I wanted the kids to remember the year for something other than the fire.”

Financial and emotional toll of the fire

The financial impact of the fire has been severe, with the rebuild costs expected to exceed $1 million.

Chris noted: “We didn’t even itemise what was gone because everything was just decimated.”

Additionally, the dog sitter’s car was heavily damaged, adding further financial strain as it was not covered under the house insurance.

“The toll of what happened has made it apparent to us that it will take years to recover properly,” Chris said.

Call for greater awareness and safety measures

The fire was caused by an e-bike that was not plugged in at the time.

Chris is now advocating for greater awareness about the potential dangers of e-bikes and other electric transport.

He said: “I had no idea at the time that it was a thing that e-bikes or e-scooters could cause a fire.

“If I had known there was even a potential they could explode, I wouldn’t have had it in the house.”

Despite following all safety guidelines, Chris’s claims for compensation from the e-bike company have been rejected.

He expressed his frustration: “The e-bike company is not accepting responsibility. This is a major issue for Australia that is not being addressed.”

Chris is determined to warn others about the risks: “It doesn’t have to be charging to blow up.

“I would tell every parent that taking precautions doesn’t necessarily make a difference. We didn’t do anything wrong and it still happened.”

IFSJ Comment

Despite following recommended safety guidelines, the fire caused by an unplugged e-bike led to significant financial loss and emotional distress for the family.

This case highlights a potential gap in public knowledge about the risks associated with e-bikes, even when they are not in use or charging.

It is crucial for manufacturers, safety organisations, and government bodies to collaborate and ensure that the public is well-informed about these risks.

Clear guidelines, better safety standards, and more comprehensive insurance coverage can help prevent such devastating incidents in the future.

Additionally, the reluctance of the e-bike company to accept responsibility points to the need for stronger consumer protection and accountability from manufacturers.

As e-bikes and similar devices become more popular, addressing these safety concerns and providing adequate support to affected consumers will be essential in preventing similar tragedies.

Ultimately, raising awareness and implementing stricter safety regulations can help protect families and their homes from the unforeseen dangers posed by electric transport devices.

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