Being able to get around on a mobility scooter can change the user’s life. It can bring back lost independence and prevent a feeling of helplessness. However, before buying one there are a few points that we recommend you consider including physical suitability. Doing your homework before investing in electric mobility scooters is highly recommended.
Following recent incidents of fire involving mobility scooters North Wales Fire & Rescue Service have felt the need to make owners aware of the potential risk related to the use of mobility scooters. Due to the widespread use and availability of mobility scooters their popularity is now beginning to create issues in premises which were not designed to accommodate such vehicles. Mobility scooters involved in a fire can release large volumes of highly toxic smoke and gases.
Mobility Scooters Stored in Common Areas of Block of Flats and Sheltered Accommodation.
Mobility scooters can and should be stored and charged within the residents flats
If mobility scooters cannot be stored and charged within the residents flat, then it is recommended that they should be stored and charged in a dedicated storage facility. Such facilities will require ventilation, a smoke alarm, emergency lighting and should have a suppression system fitted.
External storage and charging areas should be at least 6 metres from the building to reduce the likelihood of fire spreading in an emergency. (An arson survey should be carried out to identify any potential issues).
Mobility scooters should not be stored in corridors and other communal areas forming part of the means of escape from the building. (The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005 applies to these areas). Under no circumstances should mobility scooters be charged in corridors and communal areas.
Residents should check their tenancy agreement with respect to allowing mobility scooters at their premises.
Premises Managers/Responsible Persons should review their Fire Risk Assessments following the introduction of mobility scooters into the premises.
Mobility scooters within the Home
- Never store mobility scooters where it could obstruct your exit in the event of a fire in your home
- The mobility scooter should be stored and charged within a room in the dwelling.
- The room should be fitted with a substantial door, kept closed and fitted with a smoke detector.
- Recharging should only be carried out during the day time hours and not overnight (plug-in timers should be used to avoid overcharging the batteries).
- If your mobility scooter is to be stored for any length of time the battery should be removed.
Mobility Scooters Fire Safety
- All mobility scooter are to be charged as per manufactures instructions.
- All mobility scooters should be routinely service by suitably qualified mechanics with a report provided detailing any issues that may need further work.
- All mobility scooters and charging units should have an up to date Portable Appliance Test (PAT test) to ensure the charging equipment is in good condition
- As a portable appliance mobility scooter should have a CE Mark” confirming it meets European Safety Regulations.