House explosion caused by e-bike battery reinforces need to Buy Safe, Charge Safe

We are reminding people to Buy Safe, Charge Safe, after two people were hospitalised, following another explosion caused by a lithium-ion battery.

On Monday (1 January), a house on Wellesley Street in Shelton exploded, due to a faulty e-bike battery.

One of the people in the house was hospitalised with burns and smoke inhalation, whilst another was also taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.

A third person suffered minor injuries.

Fire officers identified the cause as being an e-bike battery, which had been left on charge.

That is why we are reiterating the need to be aware of the significant risks to life that faulty lithium-ion batteries can have.

Last month, we spoke to a Lichfield resident, whose cheap replacement battery for her vacuum cleaner exploded in her home. You can read Lucy’s story here: “Buy Safe, Charge Safe” urges woman, after cheap replacement battery explodes in her home (

You should regularly check your battery for any signs of damage. This should especially be done if the battery or device has been dropped or damaged in some way. Even if you think there is a slight chance that your battery is damaged, you should not use or charge it, and you must replace it immediately.

For the five simple checks you can do on your battery, just remember SANTA:



Smoke - Is smoke coming out of your device or battery?
Aroma- Is there a strong or unusual smell coming from the battery?
Noise- Can you hear your battery hissing or cracking? Is your device making any other unusual sounds?
Temperature- Does your device or battery feel extremely hot to touch?
Appearance- Does the battery look swollen? Has it drastically changed shape?



If you notice any of the above, you must immediately:

  • Turn off the device
  • Unplug it from the power source
  • Call the device manufacturer or retailer for further instructions.

In the event of smoke or fire coming from your device, you must:

  • Raise the alarm
  • Vacate the building
  • Call 999.

Ian Read, Head of Prevent, Protect and Partnerships at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “For the second time in a month, we have seen just how dangerous these lithium-ion batteries can be.

“Those caught in this house explosion are undoubtedly lucky to still be alive. But Lucy from Lichfield said the same thing, after her replacement battery exploded.

“Unfortunately, we cannot be relying on luck every time another faulty lithium-ion battery causes devastation somewhere else in Staffordshire.

“Next time, an exploding battery could prove fatal.

“That is why we are calling on everybody to regularly check their batteries and their devices.

“By following SANTA, you will be able to easily check the five key aspects of your battery.

“Do not power on, use or charge any devices or batteries unless you are certain that they are completely safe.

“Please Buy Safe and Charge Safe.”

For more information and guidance on how you can Buy Safe and Charge Safe, please read: Communities urged to Buy Safe, Charge Safe this Christmas (

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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding.

In an emergency call 999. General enquiries call 0300 330 1000.