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London Fire Brigade launches #ChargeSafe campaign to reduce E-bike fires

E-bike electric bike symbol on road

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London Fire Brigade has launched the #ChargeSafe campaign in a bid to reduce the number of E-bike fires across the capital. Firefighters across the city are meeting delivery drivers as part of the campaign which launched last week.

It aims to highlight the fire risks associated with lithium batteries which are commonly used with e-bikes.

The outreach work with delivery drivers follows incidents where fire crews have found delivery bags at the scene of fires. Firefighters from 102 fire stations are distributing leaflets at restaurants, takeaways and bars. The info contains a QR code which links to important safety information.

London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis said: “We are focussing on reaching out to delivery drivers using e-bikes, and the companies that employ them, to reduce the risk of fires.”

London Fire Brigade is partnering with delivery companies like Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats to provide safety information to their drivers about the risks of e-bike fires, as part of the #ChargeSafe campaign.

The Brigade has attended over 158 e-bike and e-scooter fires from the start of 2022 to March 2023, resulting in 78 injuries and some fatalities. Most people injured in fires related to e-bikes and e-scooters are in their 20s, and the fires often occur in homes where multiple adults live together without children.

Charging batteries is the most risky time for e-bike and e-scooter fires as this is when batteries are most likely to fail. The Brigade wants employees who buy e-bikes for work to be aware of how to use them safely and is distributing leaflets with QR codes containing safety information.

London Fire Brigade’s Advice to e-bike users

  • Never block your escape route with anything, including e-bikes and e-scooters.
  • Store them somewhere away from a main through route, like in a safe location such as a garage or shed.
  • Do not modify or tamper with your battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Converting pedal bikes into e-bikes using DIY kits bought online can be very dangerous and poses a higher risk of fire.
  • Check that your battery and charger meet UK safety standards. 
  • Watch out for signs that the battery or charger aren’t working properly, like if they are hot to the touch or have changed shape.
  • Always use the correct charger and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
  • Be cautious when purchasing batteries from online marketplaces or the internet as they may not meet safety standards.
  • Let the battery cool before charging as they can get warm during use and may be more susceptible to failure if charged immediately.
  • Unplug your charger once it’s finished charging and always follow manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Fit smoke alarms in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are being charged and ensure they are tested regularly.
  • Use the London Fire Brigade’s free online home fire safety checker tool to check your home’s safety.
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