Toronto apartment complex bans electric vehicles, citing fire risk

Ban applies to electric bikes, motorbikes, unicycles, hoverboards, mopeds, Segways, skateboards and scooters

A real estate company with multiple properties in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood has banned the use of electric vehicles, ranging from e-bikes to scooters.

Oberon Development Corporation posted the notices at 110 and 120 Jameson Ave., which state that electric transportation vehicles are not permitted anywhere on the property, including in apartments, the garage, parking spaces and lockers.

You are reading: Toronto apartment complex bans electric vehicles, citing fire risk

The notice lists the ban as applying to electric bikes, motorbikes, unicycles, hoverboards, mopeds, Segways, skateboards and scooters.

“If you have any of these vehicles, please remove them from the premises immediately,” it adds.

National Post was unable to reach Oberon by deadline but the notice reportedly adds that the ban is in response to the fire hazard posed by lithium batteries.

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E-scooters have been banned in the City of Toronto since 2021, though city council is re-examining that position, and the ban has not stopped the vehicles from being widely used.

The fire service added that “condo corporations are entitled to implement any condo rules for the operation of their building. That is bound by separate legislation that TFS does not intervene with.”

What risk do lithium-ion batteries pose?

Testing from Transport Canada revealed that while recognized brand original equipment manufacturer (OEM) batteries passed all safety tests, lower-cost, third-party batteries can pose an increased fire risk as they “are much more likely to be substandard, counterfeit or poorly manufactured.”

Safety tips to minimize risks associated with these types of batteries include refraining from using batteries that are swollen or dented or show other signs of wear or damage. Batteries should not be exposed to the sun for long periods or left in a hot or cold car. Overcharging batteries can also lead to fires, so it’s important to only charge your devices for the recommended charging time.

Some surface areas, like a couch or bed, can also increase the chance of a battery overheating by trapping in the heat. Only use original chargers or chargers that have recognized Canadian certification marks, such as CSA, cUL or cETL.

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It’s recommended that batteries that are not in use be stored with about 50 per cent charge and between temperatures of 5 to 20 degrees C.

How do you spot third-party batteries?

Third-party batteries will often be priced much lower than OEM batteries and be manufactured by unrecognized brands. Misaligned labels or labels containing spelling mistakes may also indicate a third-party battery.

Avoid buying batteries from unverified sources, and pay attention to user reviews. OEM batteries will come with safety certifications and labels, while third-party batteries will likely lack these certifications.

If you need to replace batteries, contact the product manufacturer, as you may still be under warranty, and be sure to only use batteries designed for the specific device in question.

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