Apr 30, 2024

E-Bike Battery Safety and Measures for Condos

In late 2023, a major incident occurred on the Go Train due to a faulty e-bike battery that caused a fire. As a result, Metrolinx updated its bike policy to require e-bike batteries to meet standard UL or CE requirements, have no physical damage to the case or warranty seal, and be inspected and sealed by GO Transit staff. The City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario are also adopting strict policies on e-bike safety, similar to those implemented by the New York Public Housing Authority after an increase in fires caused by faulty e-bike batteries. Additionally, it is important to note that e-scooters are prohibited in the City of Toronto by law.

Condominiums can take proactive measures to minimize liability and ensure safety. These measures include requesting registration of e-bikes/scooters, proof that batteries meet UL & CE safety standards, preventing e-bikes from being stored near combustible materials or inside locker rooms, requiring that batteries are charged under supervision and not left unattended, and recommending that e-bike Owners check their current insurance coverage. These actions can prevent material losses and save lives.

In addition to the measures mentioned earlier, Condominiums can also consider implementing policies that require e-bike Owners to use specific charging stations that are located in designated areas. This will prevent e-bikes from being charged in areas that are not supervised, reducing the risk of overheating and fires.

Condominiums can also consider providing fire extinguishers and fire blankets in common areas where e-bikes are stored, as well as conducting regular inspections of e-bike storage areas to ensure that there are no combustible materials nearby.

It is important for Condo Owners to educate their residents about the risks associated with e-bike batteries and the importance of adhering to e-bike safety policies. This can be done through the distribution of pamphlets, emails, or even through posters in common areas.

By taking these proactive measures, Condominiums can help minimize the risk of fires caused by faulty e-bike batteries and ensure the safety of their residents and properties.

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