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Rivervale fire caused by charging PMD: Authorities asked to look into the matter seriously to ensure public safety

The Independent logo The Independent 16/9/2021 Hana O
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Singapore — Another fire involving a personal mobility device (PMD) has sparked a call by members of the public for authorities to look into the possible risks to safety.

On Tuesday night (Sept 14), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to a fire at Block 185C Rivervale Crescent.

Upon SCDF’s arrival, the fire was raging in a unit on the third floor.

Three occupants from the affected unit had self-evacuated before SCDF’s arrival. Two were conveyed to the Singapore General Hospital, while another was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for smoke inhalation or burn injuries.

The police also evacuated about 10 residents from neighbouring units.

Preliminary investigations into the cause of the fire indicate that it was of electrical origin from a PMD battery that was being charged in the affected bedroom, said SCDF.

In response to the news, members from the online community expressed concern about the safety risks of such mobility devices kept inside homes.

“Many incidents (fire) caused by this charging of PMD. Authorities have to seriously look into this…to ensure safe ways of charging,” commented Facebook user Helene Ong.

“Guess got to take serious actions on these owners that cause high inconvenience and unsafe to themselves and their neighbours (sic).”

“People still don’t learn their lesson. You buy this PMD, be it 300 or 500. But you gotta lose your own home with the cost of a few hundred thousand dollars. It is worth it?” asked Facebook user Angus Gaijin.

Others reiterated the importance of purchasing PMDs from certified suppliers.

According to SCDF, PMDs must have the UL2272 certification mark and a power adaptor with the Safety Mark.

Owners are also advised not to tamper or modify the device on their own and regularly examine batteries for any damage.

On Jun 19, 2021, SCDF was alerted to a fire at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 also involving a battery unit of a PMD.

“There has been an increasing number of fires involving PMDs these days, so I was worried about such an incident happening to us,” said the homeowner, who advised her husband to refrain from using the device due to the risks. /TISG

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