E-Bike Fire Destroys Police Department Building And Equipment

E-Bike Fire Destroys Police Department Building And Equipment

I haven’t been reporting on e-bike-related fires recently because these postings feel like a broken record repeating the same tragic news over and over. All you need to do is Google search “E-bike fire” to see the problem is still very real and happening on a weekly basis. This news out of Idaho is so horrendous that it deserves posting.

The Idaho State Journal is reporting that a charging e-bike’s lithium-ion battery pack ignited a fire that destroyed millions of dollars worth of Coeur d’Alene Police Department equipment. The fire reportedly destroyed 16 vehicles, a command trailer and all K-9 items and SWAT equipment.

The report is more terrifying than many incidents because as explained in a release from the city, “Examination of the charging station showed that [the battery] was properly plugged into an outlet and there was no evidence of misuse or prior damage of either the e-bicycle or charging unit.” That’s not good news for anyone with an e-bike battery being charged in their garage or worse, home or apartment.

In the safety tips I’ve compiled for e-bike owners, my number 1 plea is to never leave a charging battery unattended. NEVER. This reported fire would never have engulfed a building and destroyed so much equipment if somebody had been in the building while the e-bike battery was being charged.


The Good News: Nobody was killed or injured in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department equipment building fire. The bad news? Millions of dollars in equipment went up in smoke and leaves the Coeur d’Alene Police Department unprepared for many kinds of emergencies. Please take the following tips seriously.

1. Never leave a battery charging unattended. Day or night.

2. Don’t leave batteries on a charger once they are charged.

3. Never charge batteries near combustible or explosive materials.

4. Never charge a battery in a confined space like a motorhome, RV, boat, automobile, van or shed.

5. Never charge a battery that has been dropped, damaged or dinged.

6. Never charge a battery in a hallway entry/exit.

7. Never modify a battery.

8. Use only batteries recommended and approved by your bike’s manufacturer. Same with the battery charger.

9. Charge batteries on wire shelving with rollers. This allows an overheating or flaming battery to be quickly rolled away from structures.

10. If your e-bike makes a weird noise, feels hot, emits smoke or seems to be straining, stop riding. Do not load it in a car or put in the garage. Call 911. Any of these warning signs could mean a fire is eminent.

11. Look for the UL 2849 certified sticker on your next e-bike purchase.