E-Scooter Fire Risks
The United Kingdom is one of the most comprehensive markets for e-scooters in Europe. According to recent findings, there are more than 750,000 privately owned e-scooters in the United Kingdom, but current social and cultural issues around e-scooters continue to divide opinion.
Aside from their more novel function, e-scooters can offer benefits to those seeking more sustainable methods of travel, but in addition to the issues concerning their legal use, they can also contribute significantly to issues with fire safety, with the major causes being linked to the lithium battery, a source of ignition; and, in some cases, arson.
As a consequence of this troubling reality, e-scooters are now banned from public transport in London, as well as all parliamentary buildings. While this shows that traction is being made to safeguard people and communities, we believe that the real crux of the issue lies with a severe lack of safe and secure storage facilities for e-scooters.
The Issues with Building Design
At a fundamental level, the design of most older dwellings does not lend itself well to the safe storage and charging of e-scooters. As they
are modern commodities, these older dwellings simply weren’t built with e-scooters in mind.
A lack of space, combined with the layout of corridors, lifts and stairways in communal areas, creates the situation where individuals leave their e-scooters adjacent to entrance doorways, blocking fire escape routes and protected stairways.
Under these current climates, government entities are under increasing pressure to establish rules and regulations concerning the safe storage of e-scooters in housing associations and council-owned homes.
E-Scooter Fire Risks
If damaged or charged incorrectly, lithium-ion batteries are prone to overheating and can ultimately enter a phase known as thermal runway. In the case of an e-scooter, this can lead to severe fire-risks and the discharge of substantial quantities of smoke and toxic gases in mere seconds upon ignition.
Over the course of 2021, the London Fire Brigade was called to 104 fires involving lithium-ion batteries. 44 of these were caused by e-bikes and 28 from e-scooters, this was four times as many as the 26 recorded in 2020. As of June 2022, crews have already been involved in 56 fire incidents related to lithium-ion batteries.
What this clearly demonstrates is that the risk of harm is significant. If caught on fire, e-scooters produce large quantities of heat, exacerbating the spread of the fire and limiting opportunities for safe escape. In residential building environments, this poses a life safety risk to tenants, employees and the firefighters themselves.
Fire Risk Solutions
Following several calls from members of parliament, regulations are currently being improved and implemented in order to improve the overall fire safety of e-scooters. This involves better safeguarding at the design stage, testing of complete battery packs and clear requirements for battery usage to be included in user manuals, including specific information about charging.
In terms of facilitating the safe and secure storage of e-scooters, the metroSTOR range of storage solutions are designed to effectively remove the fire hazards associated with improper storage in residential dwellings and communal areas. Our range of visually appealing units create an effortless experience for users of e-scooters, with safely installed charging points located inside the unit. Locations situated close to building entrances enable direct and convenient access.
Ultimately, our E-Scooter storage solutions are simple to install, robust and, most crucially, safe to use.
Read more about our range of E-Scooter storage solutions.