Firefighters have issued a further e-bike safety warning after five people were hospitalised following a house fire on Roland Road in Walthamstow.

Half of the ground floor of a mid-terraced house was damaged by the fire. Two women, a man and two children left the property before the Brigade arrived. They were all taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews suffering smoke inhalation.

The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the blaze was accidental and caused by the failure of lithium-ion batteries for a converted e-bike.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It’s incredibly concerning we are continuing to see a rise in incidents involving e-bikes and e-scooters.

“When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and because the fires develop so rapidly the situation can quickly become incredibly serious.

“Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used and there is a significant risk posed by e-bikes which have been converted, such as in this case.

“We are predominantly seeing fires in ones which have been purchased from online market places and batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.

“Our advice is to try and store and charge these items in a safe location if possible, such as in a shed or garage, and if they have to be stored inside, make sure there is smoke detection fitted and your means of escape is not obstructed.

“However we know this won’t be possible for everyone, so if you are charging them indoors, please follow our advice on using safe charging and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.

“Make sure they are charged in a room where there is smoke detection and on a hard, flat surface.

“We would also suggest people try not to charge them when they are asleep, so that if there is an issue they can react quickly.”

The Brigade was called at 1656 and the fire was under control by 1858. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Walthamstow, Leyton, Leytonstone and Stratford fire stations were at the scene.

E-bike and e-scooter safety advice:

Always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.Batteries can get warm during their use and it is advisable to allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge as they could be more susceptible to failure.Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried as spares as this can increase the chance of damage to cells.

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