E-Scooters, E-Cycles and Hoverboards
E-Scooters, e-bicycles and hoverboards are becoming a more regular sight on our streets a roads. They are a fantastic technology, however they do create their own Fire Safety risks. Have a read below how you can avoid a catastrophic fire.
For road safety tips using these transport devices on the public road are available from the Road Safety Authority website www.rsa.ie
Choosing and buying a model
- Buy from reputable retailer
- If you choose to buy online from an auction site or company which is unfamiliar to you, you may be compromising your consumer rights and warranty. You may also be risking your safety. The product may not reach the safety standards that you expect.
- Make sure the e-scooter, e-bicycle or hoverboard has a genuine CE mark, but do not rely on this solely. Information on identifying genuine or counterfeit CE marks can be found on the website of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission www.ccpc.ie/consumers/product-safety/product-safety/#CEMark
- Check the packaging for traceable information such as the name and contact details of manufacturer.
- If the instruction manual is missing, not in English, or has spelling/grammar mistakes you should return the product.
- If you are buying second-hand you will not know the product’s history. You should have the device checked by a reputable technician.
Charging and battery safety
- Lithium-ion batteries or li-ion batteries (sometimes called LIBs) are the lightweight batteries that power e-scooters, e-bicycles and hoverboards. They are safe when they are used properly, but present a fire risk if they are over-charged, short-circuited, submerged in water or if they are damaged.
- Use the charger that came with the product to charge it. If you need a replacement source a genuine charger from the manufacturer or retailer.
- Charge outside if possible. NEVER charge in a the communal space of an apartment block. This a protected fire escape route.
- If you must charge inside, charge in a location that will still allow you to escape from all the rooms in your home. For example, do not charge it in the hallway. Plan your escape routes in advance.
- Charge only for as long as it takes to reach a full charge. Do not charge overnight.
- Unplug the charger if you are leaving your home, even for a short while.
- Never cover the e-scooters, e-bicycle or hoverboards with insulators, such as coats or jumpers and so on. The battery will heat up during use and during charging and this heat needs to dissipate.
- If you notice your e-scooter, e-bicycle or hoverboard behaving erratically, this could be a sign the battery is damaged and needs replacing.
- If you notice a burning smell, hear a hissing sound or pops, see smoke, gas release or flames you need to evacuate. Unplug the charger if safe to do so.
- Lithium-ion batteries produce their own oxygen when burning and the fire will escalate quickly.
- Batteries may experience a ‘Thermal Runaway’. If this occurs it is extremely difficult to extinguish and domestic firefighting extinguishers will not be effective. Fumes are extremely toxic and can be fatal if inhaled.
- Close the door to the room or apartment that fire is in. This will help contain the smoke and fire and will give you and others time to escape.
- Evacuate the home immediately by shouting, or in an apartment block by pressing the fire alarm break-glass unit.
- Call 999 or 112 when it is safe to do so and tell the call taker that an e-scooter or e-bicycle is involved.
- DO NOT RE-ENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON.
- Meet the Firefighters when they arrive, explain where the fire is and that an e-scooter or e-bike is involved.