Firefighters are issuing a reminder to residents in London, urging them not to keep e-scooters and e-bikes in escape routes. This caution comes after firefighters rescued three individuals from a flat fire on Annesley Avenue in Colindale.
A small part of a first-floor corridor was damaged by fire and an e-scooter was destroyed. Seven adults and two children left the building before the Brigade arrived.
The Brigade said that “crews wearing breathing apparatus used fire escape hoods to rescue a further three people from the first floor. They were all assessed on scene by London Ambulance Service crews.”
Fire escape hoods provide members of the public with up to 15 minutes protection from four of the main fire gases (carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein) and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.
If more than 15 minutes protection is required, then another hood can be given to each wearer. They do not provide oxygen but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “The fire involved an electric scooter which was in a communal corridor.
“We know just how ferocious and harmful these fires can be, so if something was to go wrong, we don’t want an e-bike or e-scooter inside a property. However, we appreciate for some people, keeping it inside is the only option. If that is you, please follow this crucial safety advice that will protect yourself and those you live with.
“Never store the vehicle by your front door, in a hallway, or on any escape route. We’ve seen the devastating consequences of what can happen when an exit is blocked by an e-bike fire. Instead, keep it in a room where you can shut a door, contain the fire and call 999.
“Never charge your e-bike or e-scooter whilst you are asleep and unplug the charger once the vehicle has finished charging. Please also make sure you are using the correct charger for the vehicle.
“We strongly believe you are far safer if you buy your product from a reputable seller where you can be more confident that it has been built to the required safety standard.
“We are really concerned about the sale of faulty or counterfeit products being purchased from online marketplaces for e-bikes and e-scooters like chargers, batteries and conversion kits.
“With a record number of fires involving these vehicles so far in 2023, we fear that product innovation has come ahead of proper safety standards.
“Without much-needed legislation and the right standards, more dangerous and unregulated products bought online are going to end up in people’s homes and on our streets.
“That’s why we have used the UK Product Safety Review as an opportunity to continue our calls to the Office for Product Safety and Standards to undertake urgent research into the causes of these fires and consider what specific safety standards need to be introduced to reduce the risk of fires occurring.”
London Fire Brigade were called at 06:15am and the fire was under control by 08:05am. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Hendon, Mill Hill and Stanmore fire stations attended the scene.