SCDF: Personal mobility device-related fires increased last year, fires mostly occurred in homes

Fires involving personal mobility device (PMD) increased to 102 incidents last year and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said almost 70 per cent of fires occurred in homes.

SCDF released its annual statistics today (12 February) and noted that the numbers showed a “sharp increase” from the 52 incidents in 2018.

According to SCDF director of operations Assistant Commissioner (AC) Daniel Seet, the PMD-related fires in 2019 all involved non-UL2272 certified devices and had “some sort of modifications”,mainly to the battery.

Meanwhile, a total of 13 fire incidents involving power-assisted bicycles (PAB) have occurred in 2019.

It was noted that 46 people were injured from the fires involving PMDs and PABs last year, including one fatality of a 40-year-old man who was rescued from a PMD-related fire in Bukit Batok died in hospital. 

“SCDF urges members of the public, especially PMD owners, to be vigilant when handling their devices as fires involving PMDs and PABs can result in casualties and serious damage to the property,” said AC Seet.

The SCDF also urged owners of non-UL2272 certified devices to dispose of their devices at the designated disposal points.

On this point, SDCF said it will continue to stress on fire safety risks related to PMDs and PABs and educate the people on the safety measures through social and mainstream media.

As for the number of fire calls, SCDF has responded to a total of 2,862 fire calls last year, of which 41 per cent were related to fires in residential premises.

Most of the fires were caused by unattended cooking fires, discarded item fires and household contents fires.

SCDF noted that dropped light cases – indiscriminate disposal of lit materials – are still the leading cause of fires, contributing to 37 per cent of all fires in 2019, after electrical origin fires.

Vegetation fires also increased to 883 cases last year.

“This was largely due to the sustained dry weather between January and March 2019, as well as between July and September 2019,” SCDF stated.

SCDF said it will continue to work with the Wildfire Task Force which has been taking preventive measures such as trimming overgrown vegetation in high-risk areas.

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