The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) took to its Facebook page today (6 December) to edit its earlier post where it stated that a personal mobility device (PMD) that was left charging caused a fire at Clementi HDB flat.
SCDF made the correction after netizens spotted the error and highlighted it in the comment section of the post.
It all started when SCDF published a post on Thursday (5 December) saying that they responded to a fire outside of a 14th floor unit at Block 715 Clementi West Street 2 around 12.45pm.
They revealed that the fire involved a PMD that was placed along the common corridor at the flat and it was put out by SCDF’s team using one water jet.
Thankfully, no one was reported injured and the three occupants from the affected unit were safely evacuated.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that the fire was of electrical origin from the PMD which was charging along the common corridor at the time of the fire. SCDF would like to remind the public on the prevention of PMD/PAB fires with the fire safety tips included in the inforgraphic,” SCDF said.
It continued, “LTA encourages all PMD owners to use UL2272 certified devices. When purchasing a PMD, look out for UL2272 Certification Marks. All owners of non-UL2272 certified PMDs are strongly encouraged to dispose of their device at designated disposal points as soon as possible.”
Along with the post, SCDF also attached images of the fire scene, including a picture of the burnt mobility device.
Online users spotted the error
Upon reading the post, many netizens pointed out that the device involved in the fire is in fact a Power-Assisted Bicycle (PAB), and not a PMD.
They slammed SCDF for not knowing the difference between an e-bike and a PMD.
A PAB, also known as an e-bike, looks very much like a conventional bicycle, except that it is equipped with an electric motor to assist in pedalling.
This means that PABs can be used on public roads or cycling/shared paths, but it must be type-approved, sealed and registered. The registration of PABs help to improve Land Transport Authority’s enforcement against the use of non-compliant PABs.
According to the law, an e-bike does not need to be UL2272 certified. However, it needs to fulfill other technical specifications like not exceeding 20kg in weight, comply with the EN15194 European Standard and more.
After reading netizens’ comment, SCDF promptly edited the error that it made in its earlier post.
It stated that the device that was involved in the fire was indeed an e-bike that was left charging in the common corridor of the HDB flat.
“This post has been edited based on feedback received from netizens. We thank you for the feedback/comments,” SCDF said.
“REMEMBER: For those who own mobility devices, please refrain from any unauthorised/illegal modifications and over-charging of the batteries,” it added.