May is National Electrical Safety Month, so it’s the perfect time to learn about the proper ways to charge your e-bikes and electric scooters. ESF and our friends at Mister Sparky were recently featured in a Men’s Journal article on the topic. Read more here:

“”More than 250 fires broke out in 2023 in NYC from improper storing and charging of electric bikes and scooters inside homes according to the Fire Department,” shared Dan Mock, VP of Operations at Mister Sparky Electric. “That’s just one city. But the story about e-bike and e-scooter battery fires repeats itself across most of the country.” As “e-mobility devices” continue to grow in popularity, so have the casualties and injuries. It’s not always possible to store an electric vehicle in a safe and sheltered outdoor environment, but being aware of the warning signs and risks can help homeowners and renters protect their space.

May is National Electrical Safety Month, so it’s the perfect time to learn about the proper ways to charge your e-bikes and electric scooters. It’s also wise to learn more about the red flags, so you can identify when something is wrong.

  • E-bike or e-scooter devices should be charged on flat and dry surfaces. “While most Lithium-Ion battery packs are sealed so they can withstand exposure to water, it could be extremely dangerous should they be exposed for too long to water,” notes Mock.
  • Use a manufacturer-approved charger and plug it directly into a wall unit, not extension cords. “Extension cords should be treated as a temporary solution – not a permanent one,” warns Mock. Always use the correct charger. “Many inappropriate extension cords don’t provide the power some of these e-bikes and scooters need to charge properly and if used incorrectly, it could cause the extension cord to overheat and cause a fire.”
  • If you need to leave the house, unplug the battery charger. “Like with many of your electronics and household devices, it is not recommended that you leave the battery charging unattended nor that you charge it overnight,” shares Mock. “Once the e-bike or e-scooter battery charging is complete, unplug it or it could lead to overheating.”
  • Should you notice a change in the color or shape of the lithium-ion battery, unplug it from the charger and contact the manufacturer. “Any sign of damage including warping or discoloration is a red flag that should not be ignored by users, as it could mean there’s something significantly wrong with the scooter or e-bike battery, charger, or both,” cautions Mock.
  • Smoke, burning smells, and leaks from the battery are just as bad. Actually, these are major warning signs of a potentially dangerous battery failure. “Stop the charging immediately and contact the manufacturer,” recommends Mock. “They most likely will be able to send you a replacement for the damaged battery. Don’t attempt to buy a random power source online as only manufacturer-provided or approved batteries should be used.” Furthermore, the manufacturer should help make recommendations for the proper disposal of batteries.
  • Keep small children away from the batteries as they’re charging. “Never let kids think that they can play with the batteries, charger, or products you’re charging,” shares Mock. “It’s a safety hazard that could lead to injuries.”


What to Do if Your Scooter or E-Bike is on Fire

Should a fire break out near your rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, leave the area immediately as batteries carry an explosion risk with extreme heat. Call 911 and notify them of the emergency.

For additional information on electrical safety tips and safety standards for Lithium batteries, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation’s page.”