Special officer to monitor exploding e-bike batteries appointed by Guernsey Fire Service

Faulty e-bike batteries have been known to pose a fire risk. Credit: PA

Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service has appointed an officer to monitor the potential risk of fires caused by exploding lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes.

Since the start of 2023, fires from lithium-ion batteries have been linked to eight deaths in the UK according to the charity Electrical Safety First.

Speaking to ITV News, Officer Danny Joyce said: "The danger with lithium-ion batteries, if they are compromised in any way or if they are overcharged, is that they can give a noxious gas and that gas can also be flammable".

He advised people to charge their e-bike batteries in "an open environment and not indoors, and certainly not overnight and not unattended".

While most e-bike batteries are safe, faulty batteries from third-party sellers are more at risk of exploding and causing fires.

A Jersey woman, Danny Larkin, spoke to ITV News about her house being destroyed last year in a fire caused by an e-bike battery.

She says the bike had not been charging in its usual place: "If I had charged it there, it would have exploded on the front door and we wouldn't have got out because there's no other exit through this house", she said.

"So it would have blocked our stairway exit and it just would have been too quick - we wouldn't be here now."

In 2019, a lithium battery was found to be responsible for a major fire at Guernsey's recycling plant.

Advice for e-bike and e-scooter owners:

  • Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert.

  • Always use the manufacturer-approved charger for the product, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage buy an official replacement.

  • Do not cover chargers or battery packs while charging.

  • Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials.

  • Do not overcharge your battery and do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads.

  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas.

  • In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.

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