Fire service issue e-bike safety warning following fire

A fire which resulted in a dog being rescued has sparked a new safety warning for users of electric bikes and scooters.

Photo credit: Eddie Mitchell

Release date: 21 February 2024

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging e-bike users to act responsibly and be aware of the risks the e-bikes pose, following a significant fire in Pease Pottage.

In the early hours of this morning (21 February), four fire crews from Crawley, Horsham and Surrey Fire & Rescue Service responded to the fire in a block of flats in Bellevue Farm Road.

Upon arrival firefighters entered the property which was filled with smoke and extinguished a fire in the living room using hose reels and a jet. One dog was safely rescued from the domestic dwelling and the occupant was assessed and treated at the scene by South East Coast Ambulance Service crews for minor smoke inhalation.

The fire was caused by an electric bike, though the exact reason for the ignition is yet to be determined. At this time, it is believed to have been caused by either the charger or a faulty battery.

Station Manager for Crawley, Alistair Green, said: “It is extremely fortunate that the property had working smoke alarms; these alerted the occupier to the fire in its early stages and gave him enough time to safely evacuate the property. This incident could have had severe consequences had working smoke alarms not been present.

Working smoke alarm covered in soot
Photo credit: Eddie Mitchell

“The occupier also closed the internal doors which prevented the fire and smoke from spreading to other rooms, or neighbouring flats, and causing harm.

“Across the country we are seeing more instances of fires caused by electric bikes and scooters, and sadly some of these incidents have been fatal. If you own one of these products, it’s really important that you use them responsibly and put safety measures in place to reduce the risk of fire.”

If you have an electric bike or scooter, remember to:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storing your electric bike/scooter.
  • Fit smoke or heat detection in the room where you charge or store your electric bike/scooter.
  • Store electric bikes/scooters and their batteries in a cool place. Avoid excessively hot or cold places.
  • Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product.
  • Don’t overcharge and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging.
  • Don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home.
  • Don’t charge batteries or store your electric bike/scooter near combustible or flammable materials.
  • In the event of an electric bike/scooter or lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.

More safety advice can be found here: 

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