Two battery fires in one week spark warning from Cambridgeshire Fire Service

Recent battery fires in Cambridgeshire have seen repeated warning about e-bike and e-scooter charging safety
-Credit: (Image: Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service)

Two battery fires in one week have seen a warning issued by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. Firefighters were called to an e-bike battery fire in Cambridge and an e-scooter battery fire in Werrington, Peterborough.

It follows after grieving father Scott Peden called for stricter e-bike safety regulations a year after his partner and two young children died in a house fire. The fire was caused by an e-bike battery bought online.

A crew from Cambridge was called to a fire on June 10 after an e-bike began to smoke as soon as it was plugged in to charge. Occupants of the house moved it away to a safe place, limiting property damage and avoiding injury.

Crews from Dogsthorpe and Stanground in Peterborough were called to a fire on Danish Court in Werrington on Wednesday (June 19), after an e-scooter battery caught fire. It had been damaged the day before.

The fire blocked the main exit of the house but the occupants managed to escape unharmed. They were woken up by smoke alarms which alerted them to the fire.

Aftermath of an e-bike battery fire in Cambridge
Aftermath of an e-bike battery fire in Cambridge -Credit:Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

Station Commander Gareth Boyd, one of the Service's community risk managers, said: "Both these incidents highlight the potential risks that lithium-ion batteries can pose and how it is vital for people to be alert when charging any kind of device. It also shows how important it is to dispose of batteries safely. Most devices are supplied with the correct plugs and cables to ensure they are charged safely and don't take more power than needed, as well as shut-off function when the battery is fully charged.

"Replacement chargers sometimes don't have these features and can end up overheating the battery, which causes thermal runaway leading to explosions. Luckily for the incident in Cambridge, the occupant saw the battery smoking before this could happen."