London firefighters back TfL’s ban on ‘dangerous’ electric scooters
THE LONDON Fire Brigade (LFB) supports a Transport for London (TfL) ban on the transport of private electric scooters on the London transport network. The ban, which goes into effect on Monday, December 13, follows an electric scooter set on fire in a crowded London Underground train.
The electric scooter took light on a train that stopped at London’s Parsons Green tube station last month. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, although one passenger suffered from smoke inhalation. This incident, coupled with other recent fires involving electric scooters at its premises, prompted TfL to launch an urgent review of the situation, supported by evidence from the brigade’s own experts.
Customers in possession of electric scooters and electric unicycles will not be allowed to enter TfL network premises or travel on any of its services, including London Underground, buses, surface services, TfL Rail, trams and the Docklands Light Railway.
The ban comes just days after the Metropolitan Police Department launched its own crackdown on the illegal use of electric scooters on public roads, while north of the border ScotRail is also considering a ban.
The LFB has already issued an urgent safety warning this year regarding concerns about a spike in fires involving e-bikes and private e-scooters and regularly highlights incidents and issues safety tips in an effort to ensure the personal safety if they have one.
This year, firefighters have witnessed more than 50 fires involving electric scooters and e-bikes. That’s double the total amount seen in 2020. A fire in recent weeks has seen an electric bicycle that had been left in a hallway come to light.
Although the majority of these fires have occurred in homes, there are concerns that there is an increase in fire episodes in outdoor areas and on public transport as more people return to work and use scooters and electric bikes to get around.
Fire investigators found the fires to be particularly fierce and fierce enough to pose an immediate danger to residents when they occur in homes, especially since electric scooters and bicycles are often stored in lanes. such as hallways and common areas. This can further hamper the escape of people in the event of a fire.
Defective third-party batteries
The brigade’s concerns are mostly with faulty third-party batteries, as many incidents that firefighters have witnessed involve batteries that have been found on the internet and do not actually meet the correct safety standards.
Paul Jennings, LFB Deputy Fire Safety Commissioner, said: âWe are increasingly concerned about the safety of electric scooters and e-bikes due to the number of fires we see involving them, so we support fully banning TfL of e-scooters in public transport. Fires are dangerous and terrifying wherever they occur, but a fire in the transportation system can become very serious very quickly and potentially involve hundreds of people, especially on trains where evacuation can be difficult. Anything that can be done to mitigate such a risk is a positive step. “
He continued, âWe also have concerns about people trying to fight these fires on their own, believing that the vapors given off are just steam. These vapors actually contain noxious and poisonous gases. Fighting such fires should be a task for professional firefighters. “
The main safety tips for electric scooters and e-bikes are as follows:
* Always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller
* Batteries can get hot during use and it is advisable to let them cool down before attempting to recharge them as they may be more likely to fail
* Batteries should always be charged on hard, level surfaces where heat can dissipate
* Batteries can also present a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure that they are not spilled during use or when transported as spare parts, as this may increase the chance of damaging the batteries. cells. Batteries should never be exposed to extreme temperatures
* Chargers should always be unplugged at the end of a charging process. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging. Do not leave charging equipment unattended or while people are sleeping
* Make sure that smoke detectors are installed in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are charged and be sure to test them regularly
* Never block emergency exits with anything, including e-bikes and e-scooters. Store them somewhere away from a main route and make sure an evacuation plan is in place in case of fire