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E-bike batteries and the fire risks they pose to consumers

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e-bike battery on the back of a bike

E-bikes have taken the world by storm, offering an environmentally friendly and efficient mode of transportation, it’s obvious to see why they’re so successful. E-bike batteries, however, leave quite a lot to be desired. With use, the batteries can become damaged or faulty, which in turn can create some pretty intense fires.

E-bike batteries are becoming a leading source of fires in the UK, with the London fire brigade being called to an average of one e-bike or e-scooter fire every two days in 2023.

We’ll use this blog to explore the ways to use and store your e-bike safely and ensure that its battery doesn’t cause damage to you, your property or anyone else around you.

What causes e-bike fires?

The first step in being able to prevent these fires is gaining an understanding of what starts them.


Charging an e-bike battery beyond its capacity can cause it to overheat and, in extreme cases, catch fire.

Physical Damage

Accidents or impacts to the battery can lead to internal damage that may eventually result in a fire.

Poor Quality or Counterfeit Batteries

Some cheaper or counterfeit batteries may not meet safety standards, increasing the risk of malfunction and fires.

Manufacturing Defects

Even reputable manufacturers can produce defective batteries, which can be prone to issues like thermal runaway, a process where a battery overheats uncontrollably.

Preventing e-bike battery fires

The chances of your e-bike battery starting a fire are pretty low, but not zero. Taking the appropriate measures with your e-bike and its battery when both storing and charging can lower these chances and ensure the safety of your place of residence.

Choose Quality

When buying an e-bike, invest in one from a reputable manufacturer with a history of producing reliable batteries.

Use the Right Charger

Stick to the charger provided by the manufacturer and avoid third-party chargers. Overcharging is a common cause of battery fires.

Regular Inspections

Routinely inspect your e-bike and its battery for any signs of physical damage, such as dents or cracks.

Follow Charging Guidelines

Be attentive to the manufacturer’s charging guidelines. Don’t leave the battery plugged in for longer than recommended.

Replace Old Batteries

E-bike batteries have a limited lifespan. When they begin to degrade, it’s essential to replace them with new ones.

Storage spaces and keeping exits clear

Keeping your bike in the correct environment could not only prevent fires but also save lives should a fire break out.


Store your e-bike in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Landlords should use signage to inform tenants to refrain from storing E-bikes and Scooters in communal halls and corridors as they generate high levels of smoke, this prevents people from evacuating safely.

Keep Exits Clear

If you’re storing your e-bike in a commercial area, or even within your own home. Make sure that you’re not blocking any exits. Should a fire break out, the last thing you want to have is a fire between you and the exit.

Similarly, if you’re a communal housing owner, you’ll need to put up signs preventing your tenants from using the emergency escapes as storage for their bikes. As this could lead to a lot of trouble, should a fire break out.

For help looking at emergency response planning around the South East, or creating fire risk assessments within your building, contact ERMCO today.

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