The batteries are able to store an enormous amount of energy in a really small space, and can be at risk of catching fire if they're not stored or charged safely or if the equipment becomes damaged. If a lithium-ion battery pack does ignite and burst into flames, it burns aggressively and can cause widespread damage. Once alight it is very difficult to extinguish a fire from a lithium-ion battery.
Recently, there have been many incidents of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, one of these in a Red Kite home. No-one was hurt in this instance, but the home has since had to be completely demolished due to the damage caused, and the family, who lost all their possessions in the blaze, re-homed. In a another recent incident in Bristol, a tenant died as a result of a fire in their home started from a lithium-ion battery.
An investigation by ITV found that in 2022 there were 203 fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries - an increase of more than 400% in two years.
Please be aware:
- As our tenant, you're responsible for any damage caused to your home by portable devices that you own.
- Within the communal areas of our homes, you are not permitted to store personal belongings. Even if the belongings are not an immediate risk or fire hazard, they will affect the cleaning and appearance of the area, and they can make it harder to escape from a building if there is a fire.
- You're not permitted to use the electrical power points in the communal areas and/or the building for your own purposes, or for the charging of any personal items, unless they have been designated as a communal charging point.
- It's very important that batteries and chargers are bought from reputable suppliers, and that no modification of batteries, the charging unit or the equipment they power is undertaken, as this increases the risk of fire.
- Your tenancy agreement has clauses that prohibit you from doing anything that increases the risk of a fire. Although we don't prohibit the charging of lithium-ion batteries, the item the battery powers - for example, an electric motorbike - may be prohibited from being inside the home. Please check your tenancy agreement for further details and contact us if you have any concerns.
- It's your responsibility to arrange for home contents insurance to protect your belongings. If there is a fire and personal items are lost or damaged, Red Kite is not responsible for replacing these, so please ensure you have suitable insurance cover for your belongings.
If you're using lithium-ion batteries in your home, please follow the important safety tips available on the Electrical Safety First website.