Brigade backs safety plea after 21 year old killed in e-bike fire

The London Fire Brigade is endorsing a petition initiated by the family of 21-year-old Sofia Duarte, who lost her life in an e-bike fire caused by a lithium battery failure on New Year’s Day 2023

The London Fire Brigade is endorsing a petition initiated by the family and friends of 21-year-old Sofia Duarte, who lost her life in an e-bike fire caused by a lithium battery failure on New Year’s Day 2023.

The petition calls for government action to regulate e-bikes, e-scooters and associated batteries and chargers.

More than 32,000 signatures have been collected, supported by Electrical Safety First and a Ten Minute Rule Bill expected to be introduced by Yvonne Fovargue MP.

Data from the London Fire Brigade reveals that incidents involving fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries represent the fastest-growing fire trend in London.

On average, there was a fire related to these devices every two days in 2023.

Comparatively, the total number of such fires increased by nearly 60% last year when compared to the figures from 2022.

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Charlie Pugsley, said: “We’re warning people that cheaper parts bought online are more likely to be unsafe, increasing the risk of a fire.

“We always recommend purchasing items from a reputable high-street seller. If there’s an offer that seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s also essential to use the correct charger for the battery, otherwise the risk of fire is much greater.”

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