Warning over popular item after family escape apartment fire

Firefighters are warning the community of the risk involved in owning an electric bike or scooter, after a family were forced to flee their home when their eScooter caught on fire.

Just before midnight on Thursday evening, Fire and Rescue NSW responded to a fire which had broken out in an apartment block in Liverpool, located southwest of Sydney's CBD.

eScooter and battery.
The family's eScooter caught fire, with the electric scooter's lithium ion battery spreading dusty residue as well as toxic smoke inside the apartment. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

Two adults and a baby left their apartment as it began to fill with toxic smoke being emitted from the escooter's rechargeable battery, with 15 neighbours also leaving the premises after their fire alarm went off.

Thanks to the family's quick thinking, other residents were able to remain safely inside their homes after doors were closed to prevent further spread of smoke inside the complex. Thankfully, no one was harmed.

eScooters are becoming more popular

Major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, are using or are beginning to trial electric scooter schemes and many Aussies are using them as a transport option for their commute.

A row of eScooters.
More electronic scooters are popping up in Aussie cities. Source: Getty

The users of electric scooters are treated similarly to that of motorists, with individual's under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs facing penalties.

Although it is largely illegal to use personal eScooters on roads and footpaths, many have noticed their increase in popularity alongside electric bikes.

Fire and Rescue NSW warning on fire hazard

Superintendent Adam Dewberry told Yahoo News Australia firies are starting to take notice that eScooters are a potential fire hazard.

"We are seeing a number of fires that are being caused by lithium ion, battery powered equipment such as ebikes and escooters," he said.

Following some easy to follow rules, such as purchasing eScooters from "reputable brands" and always buying equipment that meets Australian Standards, will help reduce the likelihood of one starting a fire.

As always, the fire department stresses how important it is to have a correctly fitted fire alarm in your residence.

"Make sure you have a working smoke alarm which will provide you with an early warning of a fire so that you can get up [and] get out," Mr Dewberry said.

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