A family had a lucky escape after a house fire on Peplow Close in West Drayton which involved an electric scooter last Tuesday (15 February) evening just after 9:30pm.
The ground floor of a mid-terraced house was damaged by the fire. Four people left the property before firefighters arrived. There were no reports of any injuries. Firefighters from Hillingdon Fire Station wearing breathing apparatus rescued a dog from the first floor of the house.
Fire Investigators believe the fire was accidental and involved a lithium-ion battery for an electric self-balancing scooter which was on charge at the time of the fire.
Hillingdon Station Officer Simon Hall, who was at the scene, said: “One of the occupants was alerted to the fire after hearing popping and they saw the batteries sparking.
“The scooter was on charge under the stairs in the open plan living room, so the family was very lucky to get out. If it had happened later at night when they were asleep the fire could easily have developed and engulfed the staircase.
“Crews worked hard to bring the fire under control and contain it as much as possible and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus also rescued a dog from the first floor.
“Electric bikes and scooters are often stored and charged in escape routes in homes or communal areas so when a fire does occur, escape routes are blocked which immediately makes an already serious situation much more frightening for those involved so please do be mindful of where you’re storing them.
“This also applies to storing and charging them under the stairs.
“We know lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used, so it’s important to always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
“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. You should also not expose them to extremes of temperature. “You should always make sure you unplug your charger once it’s finished charging. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when charging and we would advise not to leave it unattended or while people are asleep.”