An explosion caused when an e-scooter burst into flames, landing its owner in hospital, has promoted fire detection and life safety specialist CDS to remind facilities managers and individuals of the dangers caused by appliances with lithium batteries.
The scooter, purchased second-hand on line just two weeks before the explosion, was being charged in the kitchen of the owner’s North London home when the incident happened – with the 1000C flames melting the vehicle’s footplate within seconds. He spent eight hours in hospital after inhaling toxic fumes while trying to battle the inferno with a fire blanket before escaping the house.
The incident, footage of which has been released by London Fire Brigade, is one of more than around 100 e-bike and e-scooter blazes the capital’s fire service attends every year. Averaging two a week, last year it attended 116 such fires.
So dangerous was the fire that LFB chiefs said they would not send their fire fighters into such a situation without full PPE and breathing apparatus.
The rise of e-scooter, e-bike and e-cigarette popularity prompted CDS, part of the Obsequio group, to run its own e-appliance campaign last year, in conjunction with the National Union of Students.
While it was aimed at those living in halls of residence the same safety messages apply to anyone living anywhere.
They include not using counterfeit cables, not charging items overnight, not charging things near flammable materials, not blocking exits with e-scooters or e-bikes, letting the battery cool down before charging it and buying from reputable suppliers. Their messages match those offered by London Fire Brigade’s Charge Safe campaign.
Obsequio Group CEO Simon Abley said: “The general perception is that fires are caused by naked flames – things like leaving the chip pan on or smoking in bed. So, we in the industry really need to raise awareness of the very real dangers presented by electrical devices such as the batteries in e-scooters and e-cigarettes.
“While the specific advice on how to stay safe with an e-scooter concentrates on giving people personal responsibility for protecting themselves, it’s also vital, and a legal requirement, that residential and student landlords ensure they have an up-to-date fire risk assessment. It is their responsibility to ensure, where the fire risk assessment dictates, an appropriate level of fire detection is installed and maintained to British Standards.”
Find out more about CDS fire risk assessment service here.