Urgent warning issued to electric scooter riders in response to dangerous lithium battery fire risk

Urgent warning issued to electric scooter riders in response to dangerous lithium battery fire risk

WATCH: Government urged to crack down on anti-social riders of electric scooters

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/02/2024

- 09:09

Drivers are being urged to watch out for a number of key signs that the electric battery could be a fire risk

The Government has issued new guidance to electric scooter riders in response to growing fears that the lithium batteries in the vehicles could catch fire or even explode.

Electric scooters are becoming more popular as modes of transport with more than 20 trial schemes taking place in cities across the country.

While the trial schemes have been extended until May, a growing number of people are also buying e-scooters for their own personal use, even though rules for these scooters are restricted.

Private e-scooters cannot be used on public roads and people can only ride them on private land if they have the permission of the owner or occupier of the land.

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E-scooter on fire

The Government has issued new guidance about the risk of fires with e-scooters


If someone is caught using an e-scooter illegally, they could face a fine and penalty points on their licence. The “powered transporter” could also be impounded.

The Government has now released guidance to help people with e-scooters deal with the risk of fires and battery issues, which have caused serious accidents in recent years.

If someone wants to buy their own e-scooter, they are advised to do so from a reputable seller and they should register their product with the manufacturer to make it easier in the event of a recall or safety alert.

Riders are urged not to charge their e-scooter in a place where it could prevent them from safely leaving their homes in the event that a fire breaks out.

The guidance states that people should store and charge e-scooters in a shed or garage separate from their home, if possible, to reduce the risk of people getting caught in a fire.

It adds: “If you charge or store your e-scooter inside your property, ensure you install suitable fire detection.

“Fire and rescue services recommend heat alarms rather than smoke alarms for garages or kitchens.

“Ensure you have working smoke alarms in other rooms. Avoid excessively hot, cold or damp areas, especially for charging.”

Britons are also urged to keep an eye out for some of the key warning signs that their e-scooter is at risk of catching fire.

If the battery is extremely hot to the touch, it may be defective and at risk of fire with the National Fire Chief’s Council, London Fire Brigade and the Bicycle Association urging them to stop charging it immediately.

Similarly, if the battery has visible bulges, lumps or leaks, they should stop using it immediately, with riders being urged to listen for a hissing or cracking noise as this could also be a sign that the lithium battery is failing.

If the e-scooter lithium battery needs to be disposed of, riders should check the instructions and remove the battery pack if it is safe and possible.




The Government guidance states that the manufacturer or importer of the e-scooter must offer a free take-back service for waste e-scooter battery packs.

It adds: “Contact them for details or ask the retailer where you bought the e-scooter. Alternatively, check with your local authority for suitable battery recycling arrangements in your area.”

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