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Case study: Kettler

Special protection for e-bikes in KETTLER's new high-bay warehouse

In 2022, WAGNER has equiped the high-bay warehouse of KETTLER Alu-Rad GmbH in St. Ingbert (Saarland) with an individual fire protection solution consisting of active fire prevention in combination with early fire detection. By means of the oxygen reduction system OxyReduct®, the stored e-bikes together with the lithium-ion batteries are comprehensively protected against fire hazards. The fire protection solution was developed in cooperation with VdS.

The lithium-ion batteries of the e-bikes differ in type and size. They are in a defined state of charge of approx. 30% and thus have a particularly high fire risk - a real challenge with special requirements for fire protection.

2021/2022, a new state-of-the-art production site was built at KETTLER headquarters. This includes a new administration building and a fully automated high-bay warehouse, which offers space for up to 50,000 e-bikes. The warehouse has a storage volume of 107,000 m³, at 30 m high and almost 100 m long. The e-bikes, equipped with lithium-ion batteries and fully assembled, are packed in cardboard boxes and stored in prefabricated compartments. Special storage and retrieval machines can store or retrieve up to eight e-bikes in one rack space.

KETTLER Alu-Rad produces tens of thousands of bicycles and e-bikes annually at its German site in Saarland. A production volume of up to 130,000 per year is planned at the new site. For over 40 years, bicycles and now e-bikes have been manufactured by hand. Only after comprehensive quality control the bikes are delivered to specialist retail partners.

Lithium-ion batteries pose a challenge to fire protection

Risk Analysis

  • Thermal Runaway
    Overheating of a battery due to a self-reinforcing, heat-producing process. This often leads to fire or explosion.
  • Chain reactions
    Chain reactions due to thermal runaway are often unstoppable. Tight storage of the e-bikes favors this.
  • Electrical risks
    Technical defects in lines or components can lead to fire.
  • Packaging material
    Highly flammable packaging material (cardboard packaging) of the e-bikes leads to high fire loads.
  • Storage height
    The height of the warehouse favors the chimney effect and accelerates the spread of fire in case of fire.

Protection Goals

  • Fire spread
    In case of self-ignition of a lithium-ion battery, the spread of fire should be limited.
  • Ignition of the batteries
    Ignition of lithium-ion batteries by external ignition sources should be excluded.
  • Operating sequence
    Business interruption is to be prevented as far as possible.
  • Goods
    Damage to or destruction of stored goods by flames, smoke or extinguishing agents should be avoided as far as possible.

Tested protection concept thanks to customer-specific fire tests

The protection concept consists of the OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system for active fire prevention and early fire detection using TITANUS® aspirating smoke detectors. In addition, organizational and accompanying measures are taken. The heat generated in the event of a lithium-ion battery igniting is dissipated via defined openings in the packaging of the e-bike. For this purpose, the packaging was adapted accordingly in coordination with the customer and VdS. This is also part of the fire protection solution developed by WAGNER.

The oxygen reduction system OxyReduct® reduces the oxygen level in the protected area of the high-bay warehouse to a protection level determined by fire tests. The system maintains this protection level continuously, so that the development or spread of a fire is prevented. The automated warehouse can still be accessed by people, taking DGUV requirements into account.

In order to detect smoldering fires and cable fires, which are still possible even in an oxygen-reduced atmosphere, in good time, we combine our fire prevention system with TITANUS® aspirating smoke detectors for fire detection. This fire detection systems continuously takes air samples from the ambient air and examines them for smoke particles. Due to the active sampling, our aspirating smoke detectors detect a fire development very early. Appropriate countermeasures can thus be initiated at an early stage.

Together with VdS, WAGNER has developed a customer-specific protection concept including the necessary fire tests. These were carried out at the DMT test laboratory for fire protection, a DIN EN ISO 9001 certified and DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited testing laboratory for fire tests.

Customer Benefits

Customer Testimonial

Press Spokesperson of KETTLER Alu-Rad

We needed a holistic fire protection solution for both the high-bay warehouse and the battery warehouse, where the unassembled lithium-ion batteries are stored. Pioneering work was required here, because suitable protection concepts from other bicycle or battery manufacturers did not exist and still do not exist. Based on many years of experience in plant engineering, WAGNER developed a completely individual, safe solution for us.


We burn for fire protection and work out holistic fire protection solutions with our customers worldwide. Leading the way, we develop innovative fire protection systems for various applications in our own research and development department.

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