NFPA issues fire safety for electric bikes and scooters

NFPA issues fire safety for electric bikes and scooters

The National Fire Protection Association® has responded to fire officials’ concerns about the growing number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries that power electric bikes and electric scooters as their popularity increases. Their new web page offers advice and guidance for e-scooters and e-bikes, to avoid fires in future.

The webpage features information about why e-bikes and e-scooters catch fire, what some jurisdictions are doing to better regulate that risk, and what tips people can follow to stay safe if they use, store, or charge e-bikes or e-scooters. A free safety tip sheet is also available for download.

According to the New York City Fire Department, in New York City alone, battery-powered micro-mobility devices have sparked more than 130 fires so far in 2022, putting the city on pace for more than 160 e-bike or e-scooter fires this year, the release said. This number represents a roughly 50% increase over the 104 blazes the FDNY reported in 2021, which killed four people. Five people have died in such fires in 2022, including a 5-year-old girl who died in August from a blaze sparked by a charging e-scooter.

The release said the NFPA recommends the following tips when charging and storing e-bikes and e-scooters to help prevent fires:

  • Only purchase and use devices, batteries, and charging equipment that are listed by a nationally recognised testing lab and labeled accordingly
  • Only use the battery and the charger that were designed for, and came with, the device
  • Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged
  • Store e-bikes, e-scooters, and batteries away from exit doors and anything that can get hot or catch fire
  • Stop using the e-bike or e-scooter if you notice any of these problems with the battery: unusual odour; change in colour; too much heat; change in shape; leaking, smoking, or not keeping a charge
  • Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash. Recycling is always the best option. Take the batteries to a battery recycling location or contact your local waste department for disposal instructions
  • Only have device repairs performed by a qualified professional

For more safety information about e-bikes and e-scooters and to download the free safety tip sheet, visit nfpa.org/ebikes.



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