Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and SafeWork NSW are working with food delivery companies to address lithium-ion battery risks. 

A new initiative aims to educate delivery riders on safe storage and charging practices, following several serious incidents.

FRNSW and SafeWork NSW have engaged companies including Uber Eats and DoorDash in discussions over the past few months. 

They have reportedly agreed to incorporate battery safety education into their training and communication with delivery riders.

FRNSW Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell says there has been a significant rise in lithium-ion battery fires in NSW, increasing from 165 in 2022 to 272 in 2023, with 131 incidents recorded so far this year. Of these, 35 incidents involved micromobility devices such as e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-skateboards.

He warned that damaged, overcharged, or low-quality batteries could lead to ‘thermal runaway’, a dangerous chain reaction causing fires.

“Anyone who uses an e-bike or e-scooter for work or transport needs to understand the potential dangers so they can take steps to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said 

Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib.

In support of this initiative, FRNSW has created an e-bike and e-scooter battery safety webpage. 

It advises against overcharging, leaving devices charging unattended, and using damaged batteries. It also recommends purchasing batteries from reputable sources and using approved charging equipment.