Firefighters have issued a safety warning after an e-bike caused a fire at a house on Beechwood Avenue in Thornton Heath last night.
Part of the ground floor of a mid-terraced house was damaged by the fire. Two women and three men were assessed on scene for smoke inhalation and a child was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews as a precaution.
The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire was caused by an e-bike and its battery, which had been left leaning against a radiator in the home and overheated.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Electric bikes and scooters are often stored and charged in escape routes in homes or communal areas, so when a fire does occur, escape routes are blocked which immediately makes an already serious situation much more frightening for those involved. So please do be mindful of where you’re storing them.
“In this case, the e-bike was stored against a radiator in a hallway. It involved a conversion kit fitted to a normal road bike.
“Conversion kits involve sourcing a battery separately and we have already issued a warning that many of the fires we are seeing involve batteries which have been sourced on the internet and may not meet the correct safety standards.
“We know that lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used, so it’s important to always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
“Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried as spares, as this can increase the chance of damage to cells. You should also not expose them to extremes of temperature.
“You should always make sure you unplug your charger once it’s finished charging. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when charging and we would advise not to leave it unattended or while people are asleep.”
The Brigade was called at 7.16pm last night and the fire was under control by 8.25pm. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Woodside, West Norwood, Norbury and Beckenham fire stations were at the scene.
Firefighters’ safety tips
- Always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
- Batteries can get warm during their use and it is advisable to allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge as they could be more susceptible to failure.
- Batteries should always be charged on hard flat surfaces where heat can dissipate.
- Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried as spares as this can increase the chance of damage to cells.
- You should always make sure you unplug your charger once it’s finished charging.
- Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when charging and we would advise not to leave it unattended or while people are asleep.
- Ensure you have smoke alarms fitted in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are being charged and make sure they are tested regularly.
- Never block your escape route with anything, including bikes and scooters. Store them somewhere away from a main through route.
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