Video shows e-scooter explode into flames in kitchen
Dramatic footage of an e-scooter explosion in a kitchen has been released to highlight the risks around charging batteries.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) published the video showing the moment an e-scooter catches fire while plugged in at a house in Brent, north-west London on Saturday.
It takes just seconds for the room to be filled with flames and smoke.
Security guard Dell Williams, 37, was charging the e-scooter that he bought a fortnight earlier after seeing a listing on online marketplace Gumtree.
Neither he nor the other tenants living in the property were near the kitchen when the fire occurred.
He said: “I just want to thank the Lord that we managed to get out of there in one piece. I am so grateful to be alive.
“I spent eight hours in hospital due to inhaling smoke from the fire.
“When I went back to the house it was such an eye-opener.
“I was shocked, I am shocked now. I am so grateful that no-one else was hurt. I cheated death.”
He added: “Don’t have e-scooters in the house. Charge outside.”
LFB deputy commissioner Dom Ellis said this type of fire is becoming more common.
He said: “As the video shows, once a battery starts to go into thermal runaway a fire develops very quickly and can block escape routes.
“Thermal runaway can lead to the destruction of the battery and a ferocious fire.
“We know prior to ignition, thermal runaway can lead to the ejection of a range of gases. The white and grey coloured smoke is not harmless, and the speed at which these incidents develop shouldn’t be ignored.”
Users of e-scooters and e-bikes are advised to allow their batteries to cool down before recharging them, and to buy chargers and batteries from reputable sellers.
LFB also urged people to fit smoke alarms in areas where charging happens indoors.
The brigade has been called to 48 e-bike fires and 12 e-scooter fires in the capital so far this year.
Private e-scooters cannot be legally ridden on roads or pavements in the UK but have become a common sight, particularly in urban areas.
Trials of rental e-scooters on roads in dozens of towns and cities across England are ongoing.
On Wednesday, transport minister Jesse Norman told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee that e-scooter and e-bike fires are “an issue of serious concern” and the Government is “working hard on it”.
He said: “We’ve had very few fires on the (e-scooter) trials, but we have had some.
“There are obviously wider reports and there’s now a scare going on at the moment about e-bikes.”