Apartment Living: Be Vigilant. Fire Brigade are warning people of the dangers of fire from battery operated bikes and scooters. They should not be kept indoors. Altruism is about thinking of others so please do not keep electric bicycles or scooters indoors, also do not charge their batteries indoors. Fire is fast once it starts and it destroys and can kill people.

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E-bike battery chargers ‘significant’ fire risk to flat complexes, Council exec warns

Charging the batteries that power these vehicles have already caused fires inside people’s homes

By

Dan Grennan

  • 16:02, 25 JUL 2022
  • Updated16:05, 25 JUL 2022
E-scooter on fire in a house
E-scooter bursts into flames

Charging electric bikes in apartments poses a “significant” risk of the entire block going up in flames, a Dublin City Council executive has warned.

Electric bicycles and scooters have become a popular means of transport around the city. However, charging the batteries that power these vehicles have already caused fires inside people’s homes.

  • And Executive Manager at DCC Liam Bergin told councillors at a meeting that he expects “bike cages” with charging facilities to be introduced in the Council’s flat complexes. The move would seek to cut down on the risk of posed by the batteries being charged inside houses and apartments.

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Mr Bergin said: “I am delighted this question was raised because it is a hobby horse of mine in relation to electric bikes. One of my concerns at the moment is, especially in flat complexes and apartment complexes, if I have to bring my bike into the house in order to charge it, there is a significant fire risk.

“I don’t want to overstate that but these houses would not be fire rated for charging some of the larger batteries in some of these vehicles.”

He added that worked is underway to combat this issue. He said: “I suppose my expectation, because we are still at the initial stages of this policy, but my expectation from discussions with the housing section has been around a kind of bike cage where we would be putting a charging capacity down at the gates.

“These bikes are not significantly more expensive than a push bike anyway so you would have the general security concerns in relation to these things. But, what I think will happen, is where bike cages are provided in social housing we will be encouraging them to be used because of the fire risk in relation to it.”

The DCC official included all electric modes of transport “without a car door” such as scooters in his definition of electric bike. Dublin fire fighter Ray McMonagle previously told the Irish Mail on Sunday that the incidence of fires starting because of charging batteries is growing.

He said: “We are seeing an increase over the past number of years, particularly around the likes of e-bicycles and hoverboards. It is a concerns that the fire brigade is looking into.”

“What we would be seeing is it’s the cheaper ones coming in from the Far East, coming in from China, really. So they are not going through any safety inspections of a European standard.”

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