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Electric bikes and electric scooters

If you own or use an electric or electric scooter, there are some important things you need to do and remember to stay safe and avoid endangering yourself, your loved ones and your home.

The popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters is increasing and with this comes a corresponding fire safety concern associated with their charging and storing. 

Lithium-ion batteries are used to power many of these new modes of transport and a wide range of household products too such as mobile phones, laptops and e-cigarettes. 

However,  if they are not charged correctly or safely, then on occasions batteries can fail catastrophically, or can ‘explode’ and/or lead to a rapidly developing fire that can give off toxic gases and large amounts of smoke with very little prior warning. 

They are a main cause of waste fires, and can be extremely dangerous when thrown away with general rubbish, or mixed with other recycling waste. 

It is therefore important when charging and storing e-bikes and e-scooters, you do so safely to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting your families and homes at risk.

By following some simple guidelines, which you'll find below, you can help to reduce the risk of fire:


  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions when charging and always unplug your charger when it's finished charging
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms. If you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen ensure you install detection, we recommend heat alarms rather than smoke detectors for these areas.
  • Charge batteries when you are awake and alert, so you can respond quickly if there is a fire. Do not charge them when you are asleep or away from home.
  • Never overcharge your battery - check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times.
  • Do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating or even a fire.
  • Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials.

When using sockets and extension leads:

  • When charging never overload plug sockets or use inappropriate extension leads. Make sure extensions are un-coiled and the lead is suitably rated for what you are plugging in to it. For more information about extension cables and leads see our 'Electrical Safety' page

Remember to always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage, buy an official replacement charger for your product from a reputable seller.

In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.


  • Store e-bikes and e-scooters and their batteries in a cool place. Avoid storing them in excessively hot or cold areas.
  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas. If there’s a fire, it can affect people’s ability to escape.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium-ion batteries if they are not going to be used for extended periods of time.

If you are a Responsible Person for a building:

Consider the risks posed by e-bikes and e-scooters where they are charged or left in common areas such as means of escape, bike stores and mobility scooter charging rooms. You may wish to offer advice to residents on the safe use, storage and charging of these products.


It is important to buy e-bikes, e-scooters, chargers and batteries from reputable retailers.

The dangers of counterfeit electrical goods

Many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods and items that do not meet British or European standards pose a huge fire risk.

Please remember - while genuine chargers (or battery packs) may cost more, it’s not worth putting your life at risk and potentially destroying your home by buying a fake charger to save a few pounds.

Buying an e-bike conversion kit:

  • Always purchase from a reputable seller.
  • Check that it complies with British or European standards.
  • Take particular care if buying from online auction or fulfilment platforms.
  • Be aware that if buying separate components, you should check that they are compatible.
  • It is recommended that a professional carries out an e-bike conversion. They will be responsible for ensuring that the e-bike is safe and fitted with the correct motor, battery and charger.

Register your product:

  • Register your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties – batteries are usually included in warranties. Registering makes it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of safety or recall information.
  • Check any products you have bought are not subject to a product recall. You can do this but checking Electrical Safety First’s website or the government website.


  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and using your product.
  • Always use the manufacturer-approved battery and charger.
  • If you need a replacement battery or charger for your e-bike or e-scooter go directly back to the manufacturer or retailer you bought it from to ensure it’s safe.
  • Regularly inspect your product and check for damage or warning signs that your battery might be failing and becoming a fire risk.
  • Don’t attempt to modify or tamper with your battery.

Damage and disposal

Batteries can be damaged by dropping them or crashing e-bikes or e-scooters. Where the battery is damaged, it can overheat and catch fire without warning.

Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged.

Disposing of lithium-ion batteries:

If you need to dispose of a damaged or end-of-life battery,  please don’t dispose of it in your household waste or normal recycling. When punctured or crushed these batteries can cause fires in bin lorries, recycling and waste centres.

Your e-bike or e-scooter manufacturer may offer a recycling service. Alternatively, check with your local authority for suitable battery recycling arrangements in your area.


Enjoy and ride your e-bike or e-scooter safely and ensure you are using these products within the law. Further information can be found on the Government website for the use of e-bikes and e-scooters

There is also some handy advice regarding e-scooters - including penalties and offences - on the Derbyshire Constabulary website