The delivery driver engagement activity is part of London Fire Brigade’s #ChargeSafe campaign. It aims to highlight the fire risks associated with lithium batteries which are commonly used with e-bikes.
The outreach work with delivery drivers follows incidents where fire crews have found delivery bags at the scene of fires. Firefighters from 102 fire stations are distributing leaflets at restaurants, takeaways and bars with links to important safety information.
The Brigade is also reaching out to delivery companies such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, so they can support efforts to provide urgent safety messages to their drivers, in order to prevent ferocious fires associated with e-bikes and lithium batteries when they fail.
London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis said, “We are focussing on reaching out to delivery drivers using e-bikes, and the companies that employ them, to reduce the risk of fires. We know that there’s been a surge in people ordering food to be delivered to their door. In order for that hot dinner to arrive quickly, it makes sense to employ delivery drivers who can work around the clock, who can hop on an e-bike and get to a pick-up point and doorstep speedily. The benefits for e-bike users are numerous: no fuel costs or emissions. Sadly, there are cons too - we're seeing deadly fire risks all too often at the moment. We want to make sure employees who buy an e-bike for work are aware of how to use their e-bikes safely. We’ve attended over 158 e-bike and e-scooter fires from the start of 2022, to the end of March 2023. There’s been 78 injuries and some fatalities. There’s no time to waste in making sure that e-bike users know how to protect themselves and loved ones.”
In 2023, on average, London Fire Brigade has been called to an e-bike or e-scooter fire once every two days – a 60% increase in the rate of these fires compared to the same period as last year.
According to data collected by London Fire Brigade, most people injured in fires related to e-bikes and e-scooters are in their 20s, and often the fires are in homes where multiple adults are living together without children. The most risky time for e-bike and e-scooter fires to take place is when charging batteries, when the batteries are most likely to fail.
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