Fire safety for battery‐powered mobility scooters and wheelchairs
This information is for building owners or the responsible person for fire safety. For advice on charging a mobility scooter, read our fire safety advice for people with mobility issues.
There are two fire safety considerations for battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs – where you store them and how they are charged.
Storage of scooters and wheelchairs
You should have a safe area for storing scooters and wheelchairs that will not hinder safe evacuation in the event of a fire. The storage of mobility scooters should be fully fire risk assessed ensuring it does not compromise the means of escape.
Storage should not impact a fire escape route.
If a mobility scooter is involved in a fire, it can release large volumes of smoke, get very hot, and sometimes have a violent reaction. If they are stored on escape routes, these could become impassable, and residents could be placed at significant risk in the event of a fire.
Storage areas should:
- be fully risk assessed
- be in an area that will not impact on the safe evacuation in the event of a fire
- be compliant with building regulations relating to the fire-resisting construction
- must have an early-warning fire alarm system installed.
If the storage area is outside:
- it should be located at least six metres away from buildings to reduce fire spread
- it should be fully risk assessed, considering arson, location, construction, fire spread, access/exit and maintenance.
Charging mobility scooter batteries
Mobility scooter batteries should be charged:
- in a specially designated, well-ventilated area which has had a fire risk assessment
- using the specific charging equipment for the vehicle and following the manufacturer’s instructions
- during the day to reduce the risk to occupants who are asleep
- in an area away from possible sources of ignition.
Fire risk assessment
The building fire risk assessment should address the risks posed by the storage and charging of battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs. You should ensure that storing battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs will not compromise escape routes in the event of a fire.
In some buildings, it will be challenging to provide secure charging and storage facilities, and in others, there may not be the space to offer adequate internal or external charging or storage facilities. In these circumstances, it may not be possible to allow residents to store or charge mobility scooters due to the size, architecture, and layout.