Fire officials are sharing a safety alert following an apartment fire sparked by an electric scooter. The fire happened in an apartment Friday at the Twin Towers complex in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Montgomery County fire officials said the resident was home at the time and heard a loud bang and pop. When the resident walked into their living room, they saw the e-scooter that had been charging had burst into flames.
The fire department shared a photo on Twitter of what the damage could look like in a similar incident. It shows the aftermath of a lithium battery fire. Lithium batteries power e-scooters and e-bikes.
🛵YES, your e-bike battery can start a fire!
Lithium ion batteries–commonly found in everything from cell phones & laptops, to e-bikes, scooters, & electric cars–can store large amounts of energy. Improper care, charging & storage of batteries can result in fires. @mcfrs tips: pic.twitter.com/xcZabdcLDO
— MontgomeryCo(MD)Fire (@mcfrs) October 29, 2022
If you happen to own one of these, the fire department says it’s important to follow the instructions from the manufacturer. You should only use a charger that’s designed for it, and you should unplug it once it’s fully charged.
Another thing to keep in mind: Don’t store the batteries in direct sunlight or inside hot vehicles.
If you notice an unusual odor, a change in color or too much heat coming from the battery, it’s probably time to replace it.
“Understand what to look out for, just like a cell phone,” said Fire Capt. Diara Branch. “When you’re charging it, if you notice any problems, anything that’s not normal, have it checked out. Have it evaluated by someone, by a professional.”
Branch says that if you do happen to find yourself in a situation where your home does catch on fire, if you are able to evacuate safely, remember to close the door behind you. That will slow down the fire from spreading even more.