The dangers of lithium batteries: is your organisation protected?

The public has been informed about the risks associated with lithium batteries amid a notable increase in severe and fatal incidents nationwide.

Posted by Aimee Wagstaff on May 23, 2024

Where are lithium batteries found?

Lithium batteries can be found in cars, bikes, scooters, laptops, phones, and e-cigarettes, amongst many other items. According to the British Safety Council, there has been a particular concern around e-bikes and scooters batteries, after several UK deaths have been linked to fires caused by these.

Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said: 

“We know e-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular but in the last year, HIWFRS (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire Rescue Services) has already attended five fires caused by lithium battery packs and 21 incidents since 2020. The large amount of energy found in these battery packs poses a huge fire risk, so we urge members of the public to ensure they take the necessary precautions.

To help keep everyone in your family safe, don’t leave lithium batteries to charge unattended, don’t put them in the way of exits or in hallways, and unplug chargers when the batteries are at full capacity.”

If you’re the responsible person for an office or residential building covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 then follow the below actions to mitigate the hazards of lithium battery-triggered fires and ensure the safety of yourself and others:

  • Assess additional risks associated with storing and charging Electric Personal Portable Vehicles (EPPVs) in buildings, considering building layout and support for occupant escape and firefighter duties.
  • Determine suitability for storing and charging EPPVs on a case-by-case basis, considering passive and active fire safety systems and building layout.
  • Preferably, store and charge EPPVs in dedicated external locations; if not possible, ensure separated spaces with suitable fire resistance to protect escape routes.
  • Avoid directly linking storage and charging facilities to means of escape, especially if there's only one escape route.
  • Place storage and charging spaces on access levels with direct external access to facilitate firefighter access.
  • Consider additional provisions for rooms located in basements or enclosed areas to support firefighter access during a fire.
  • Provide suitable wayfinding signage and instructional signage for firefighters and occupants regarding EPPV charging points and actions in case of a fire.
  • Install smoke ventilation or Automatically Openable Vents (AOVs) in rooms without smoke ventilation to vent fire gases.
  • Consider installing automatic fire suppression systems in rooms without them to mitigate fire risks.
  • Provide means of raising alarm and early warning systems in accordance with regulations.
  • Enhance structural fire protection to prevent failures due to concentrated heat release from lithium battery fires.
  • Provide means for isolating electrical supply to charging rooms and ensure well-maintained EPPVs on site.
  • Charge EPPVs according to manufacturer's instructions and avoid charging batteries in general circulation spaces.
  • Ensure common areas and escape routes are clear of EPPVs and other combustibles to facilitate safe evacuation.
  • Support responsible persons in fulfilling fire safety requirements and adhere to lease or tenancy agreements regarding EPPV storage and charging.

To ensure your organisation is protected in these circumstances, check out our Fire Safety Products and Associated Services framework:

LOT 1 includes the supply, installation, maintenance and testing of lithium-ion battery fire extinguishers, providing you with peace of mind should a lithium battery incident arise.

To find out more, visit: Fire Safety Products & Associated Services

Fire kills, act now.



Fire Service issues safety warning over the dangers of lithium batteries after rise in incidents - Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service (

E-scooters and lithium batteries: the new fire risk for the workplace? | British Safety Council (

E-bike and e-scooters - guidance for responsible persons | London Fire Brigade (