A structure fire that displaced a family this week is another stark reminder that e-bike batteries can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
Tuesday’s fire on Josephine Street was the result of e-bike batteries being charged indoors, according to Key West Fire Chief Alan Averette.
“E-bike batteries that are charging should never be left unattended,” said Chief Averette. “If you’re leaving the house, unplug it and finish charging it when you return.”
He urges everyone to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation and don’t use off-brand or bargain batteries. Finally, never charge them indoors.
These batteries can overheat, catch fire or even explode, causing the possibility of injuries, fires and deaths.
Key West has seen an uptick in the number of fires in 2022. Chief Averette notes that this is a good time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure your family’s safety.
How do you prevent charging incidents like this from happening to your e-bike? Avoid aftermarket and off-brand or bargain batteries for your bike, first of all. Stick to the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations. Furthermore, e-bike batteries that are charging should never be left unattended. If you’re charging your e-bike in the garage, set a timer to remind yourself to unplug it when it’s done, and if you’re leaving the house, unplug it and finish charging it when you return.
The Key West Fire Department has seen an alarming upward trend in the number of fires on the island. In 2021, there were 20 fires. So far this year, in just four months there have been 17.
For more vital safety tips, go to www.nfpa.org.
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