Mapped: Over 20 home fires linked to e-scooters and e-bikes in 12 months
- Credit: London Fire Brigade
A flat fire in Stepney Green this week was at least the 21st blaze linked to e-scooters and e-bicycles across London in the last year.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has issued numerous warnings about storing and charging electric bikes and scooters amid a spate of accidental blazes sparked by faulty or overheating lithium-ion batteries.
Here are some of the fires across east and north London in the last 12 months that the LFB believes were caused by e-bike or e-scooter batteries, usually while charging:
Stepney Green, Tower Hamlets - March 27
A maisonette flat in Smithy Street was damaged after a fire broke out on Sunday morning.
It was under control within an hour thanks to the 25 firefighters at the scene and there were no reported injuries.
Bow, Tower Hamlets - March 23
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A man and a woman were rescued after a fire broke out in a flat on the 16th floor of a tower block on Wellington Way.
One man was treated at the scene by ambulance crews as 80 firefighters brought the blaze under control.
East Ham, Newham - March 16
A man was taken to hospital after being treated for smoke inhalation at the scene in Northfield Road.
Half of the ground and first floors of a two-storey, mid-terraced house was damaged, with 40 firefighters attending.
St John’s Wood, Westminster - February 15
A man and woman were taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at a flat in Aberdeen Place.
Three people left the affected flat, where a hallway was damaged by fire, and seven others exited the building before crews arrived.
Leytonstone, Waltham Forest - January 18
Part of the ground floor of a terraced house in Grove Road was damaged, with 15 firefighters attending.
Two people in the house were alerted to the fire after hearing bangs coming from the bedroom.
Willesden, Brent - January 14
Four adults and a child were rescued from a roof as a flat in Chichele Road was destroyed in this early morning blaze.
Another man, who managed to get out of the building, was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and burns.
Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets - November 21
Part of a third-floor flat in a building on Lanterns Way was damaged.
Around 35 firefighters were at the scene, with seven people leaving the building before crews arrived.
North Woolwich, Newham - October 16
Part of a flat on the second floor of a building in Newland Street was damaged, with 25 firefighters attending.
Three people left the building before the crews and were all treated on scene by ambulance paramedics.
Golders Green, Barnet - August 1
Ten firefighters were called to a second-floor flat in Golders Green Road.
An electric scooter in the bathroom was destroyed and there were no reported injuries.
Barnsbury, Islington - July 15
A mother-of-two lost everything as most of her maisonette home on Sutterton Street was damaged by fire.
Sabrina Duff fled the property with her 16-year-old son, with 25 firefighters needed to contain the blaze.
Wood Green, Haringey - June 6
One person was taken to hospital after a fire broke out at an end-of-terrace maisonette in Newnham Road.
The hallway of the home and an electric bicycle were destroyed.
Upper Clapton, Hackney - May 9
A lithium-ion battery in an electric scooter caught alight outside a block of flats in Knightland Road.
There were no reported injuries.
Tottenham, Haringey - May 4
Most of a flat above a shop on the High Road was damaged in a blaze tackled by 25 firefighters.
Two people, who left the building before firefighters arrived, were treated at the scene by ambulance crews.
Where else has there been similar fires?
The above list doesn't include areas of south and west London, where there has been at least eight other similar fires since last April.
These include fires in West Drayton and Brixton Hill in February this year; Thornton Heath on November 25; Colliers Wood on August 26; Southwark, Brixton and Clapham in May; and Teddington on April 1.
What does London Fire Brigade say?
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:
- Don't store them in escape routes or communal areas
"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."
- Use official batteries from reputable sellers
"We have already issued a warning that many of the e-bike fires we are seeing involve batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which 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."
- Ensure batteries aren't damaged
"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."
- Be careful when charging
"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."