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05 December 2022

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service issue e-scooter safety advice following house fire

At 13:32 on Saturday 3 December, four fire engines from Whitehaven, Workington and Seascale attended a domestic property fire on Scotch Street, Whitehaven.

Firefighters brought the fire under control and were on scene for two hours.

Two casualities suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital for further care.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s fire investigators have determined the blaze was accidental and caused by the failure of an e-bike’s lithium-ion battery.

Angela Opie, Cumbria FRS’s Group Manager for Prevention said:

“It’s incredibly concerning that we are continuing to see a rise in incidents involving e-scooters and e-bikes. When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and because the fires develop so rapidly the situation can quickly become incredibly serious.

“These items are often stored in communal areas and corridors and can block people’s only means of escape. Our advice is to try and store and charge these items in a safe location if possible, such as in a shed or garage, and if they have to be stored inside, make sure there is smoke detection fitted and your means of escape is not obstructed.

“However we know this won’t be possible for everyone, so if you are charging them indoors, please follow our advice on using safe charging and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire. Make sure they are charged in a room where there is smoke detection and on a hard, flat surface.

“We would also suggest people try not to charge them when they are asleep, so that if there is an issue they can react quickly.”

E-bike and e-scooter safety advice:

  • 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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At 13:32 on Saturday 3 December, four fire engines from Whitehaven, Workington and Seascale attended a domestic property fire on Scotch Street, Whitehaven.