They have become quite popular around New Jersey.  Electric bikes, otherwise known as E-bikes can be seen everywhere.

E-bikes are kind of like the bicycle version of a hybrid car.  They look like bicycles and peddle like bicycles, but they have an electric component that makes life easier when navigating rough terrain.

Lithium batteries are most commonly used in American e-bikes, although some use older SLA batteries.

Earlier this week, the Ocean Beach Fire Co. #3 responded to a fire in Toms River involving an electric bike.

The fire was already extinguished when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Officials called in the Berkeley Township Hazmat Team after they determined the bike's battery was involved in the fire.

Officials placed the damaged battery in a special container and gave it back to the resident who put it in his vehicle so he could dispose of it.

As hazmat officials were wrapping up their investigation, they noticed that the container with the battery was on fire in the car.

The fire department was called back and extinguished the fire, and the hazmat crew re-packaged the battery.

Officials say the battery was the original that came with the bike.  The bike had been stored in direct sunlight.

Lithium batteries have become more common, and experts warn that when things go wrong, you may have less than a minute to respond before the battery is engulfed.

They say you should never charge the larger lithium batteries overnight, and never store them in front of a doorway. 

You can find out more about lithium batteries by clicking here.

Source:  Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention via Facebook

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