South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
  • In emergencies call 999
  • General enquiries 0114 272 7202


We attend countless fires caused by chargers, cables and batteries – especially lithium-ion – every year.

On their own, and when used safely, batteries aren’t dangerous. However, when they are damaged, over-charged, short-circuited or submerged in water, they can become a serious fire risk.

Lithium-ion batteries, also known as li-ion, are the rechargeable batteries found in modern devices such as phones and laptops, as well as mobility scooters and e-cigarettes.

Please follow our advice below around the safe use of these products, to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe from fire!

And in the event of a fire involving a li-ion battery – get out, stay out, call 999.


  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms – or heat alarms if you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen
  • Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert so if a fire should occur you can respond quickly – don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home
  • 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 charger
  • Do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging as this could lead to overheating or even a fire
  • Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials
  • Do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads (use un-coiled extensions and ensure the lead is suitably rated for what you are plugging in to it)


  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas of a multi occupied building
  • Responsible Persons should consider the risks posed by e-bikes and e-scooters where they are charged or left in common areas such as means of escape, bike stores and mobility
  • Store e-bikes and e-scooters and their batteries in a cool place – avoid storing them in excessively hot or cold areas
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium -ion batteries if they are not going to be used for extended periods of time


  • Buy e-bikes, e-scooters and chargers and batteries from reputable retailers
  • Many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods – only buy genuine items which meet British or European safety standards
  • If buying an e-bike conversion kit, purchase from a reputable seller and check that it complies with British or European standards
  • Register your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties – batteries are usually included in warranties

Damage and disposal

  • Where the battery is damaged, it can overheat and catch fire without warning – check your battery regularly for any signs of damage and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged
  • If you need to dispose of a damaged or end of life battery, don’t dispose of it in your household waste or normal recycling – check with your local authority for suitable battery recycling arrangements in your area

This content was last updated on May 13th, 2024