Electric bikes make cycling a more accessible option for riders of all ages and with a ride range of physical abilities.
However, they still come with risks that can endanger people’s safety. One risk is the potential for a bike fire. Knowing how fires can happen and how to prevent them can help protect against the serious injuries associated with these hazards.
What causes e-bike fires?
Unlike non-motorized bikes, electric bikes have a battery and require charging. Sources say that these components can start a fire under certain dangerous conditions. For instance, fires could be more likely to occur if:
- The batteries are old or damaged
- The battery overheats
- Owners charge batteries with equipment that does not come from the manufacturer
- There have been improper or unauthorized repairs to the electric components
These conditions can make it more likely that a battery or charging element could malfunction and start a fire.
And while electric bike fires are still relatively uncommon, they can still be a very real cause for concern in New York City. According to reports, bike fires have caused 72 injuries and three fatalities this year alone.
Protecting yourself as a rider
If you ride an e-bike, preventing an accident in the first place is crucial. You can do this by:
- Following manufacturer guidelines
- Using authorized parts
- Keeping an eye on charging ports and batteries
- Storing equipment in safe spaces away from extreme temperatures
- Replacing older equipment
- Properly disposing of batteries if they start to smell, leak or make strange noises
These measures can keep riders and their bicycles safe.
However, it is worth noting that many riders do not own the e-bikes they ride; there are thousands of e-bikes companies rent out to people. Ultimately, the companies that own these bicycles are responsible for their safety, but riders should still be mindful of potential risks and report any concerns immediately.
Electric bikes can be a safe, fun mode of transportation. That said, there are still risks that come with riding. Being aware of these can help people protect themselves from a devastating accident.