Food delivery rider seriously injured as e-bike catches fire

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023

LONDON: A man believed to be a food delivery rider was seriously injured when his electric bike caught fire while charging in a bedroom.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said the victim suffered burns to several parts of his body while trying to tackle the blaze with an extinguisher.The blaze at a flat in Highgate, north London, on September 12 was put out by firefighters.

An image released by LFB shows a bag used by riders for delivery company Deliveroo attached to the back of the severely damaged bike.

The brigade said the victim was using a charger purchased from an online marketplace just a day earlier.LFB warned the risk of an e-bike fire is “much greater” if users fail to purchase the correct charger from a reputable seller. Deputy commissioner Dom Ellis said: “We strongly recommend calling us immediately if there is a fire, but particularly if it involves your e-bike or e-scooter.

“Fires involving lithium batteries, which power these vehicles, can be ferocious, producing jets of flame. “This incident, and the severe injuries sustained by this e-bike owner, highlights why you should never tackle a lithium battery fire. Our advice is to get out and call 999.”

There have been a spate of e-bike and e-scooter battery fires in the capital in recent weeks, leading to calls for the Government to tighten regulations of the vehicles.

On Monday, the London Assembly Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee wrote to the Government raising “serious concerns” over the regulation of the vehicles, and called for the Department for Business and Trade to outline what action it is taking to address safety concerns.

Private e-scooters cannot be legally used on roads or pavements in the UK but have become a common sight, particularly in urban areas.It is legal to ride an e-bike as long as it meets certain requirements. Deliveroo was approached for a comment.