Singapore – After the incident of another fire caused by a charging Power-Assisted Bicycle (PAB) in an HDB flat, members of the public have repeated their call to ban these modes of transport or to implement stricter measures in prohibiting the sale of uncertified e-bicycles.
On Saturday (Nov. 14), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to a fire at about 9:45 am in a 4th floor unit of Block 424A HDB flat at Yishun Avenue 11. In a Facebook post, the SCDF announced that the fire involved the contents of a 1-bedroom unit. The fire was extinguished with a hose reel.
“During the operation, firefighters found one occupant in the bedroom and another occupant in the toilet. The firefighters rescued both occupants by carrying them out of the unit,” said the SCDF. About 40 residents evacuated the area before the SCDF’s arrival.
One of the occupants rescued during the mission suffered burn injuries and was taken to the Singapore General Hospital. The other occupant who was assessed for smoke inhalation injuries; however, refused to be taken to the hospital.
Photos were included in the post, showing the damage caused by the fire.
“Preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire indicates that it was of electrical origin from a Power-Assisted Bicycle (PAB) that was charging at the time of the fire,” noted SCDF.
“SCDF would like to remind the public on the prevention of such fires based on the fire safety tips as depicted in the infographic below.” The attached infographic advised PAB and PMD (personal mobility devices) owners of essential fire safety tips such as avoiding charging near combustible materials or for extended periods of time.
As the news circulated on social media, members from the online community repeated their call to ban such devices given this wasn’t the first time a charging e-bicycle caused a fire. “Just ban all these devices,” said Facebook user Joseph He Jun Xian. “First PMD killing people and burning houses down. Now, e-bike.”
Many questioned if the PAB in question was properly certified while others urged for stricter measures to ban sellers or suppliers of illegal or uncertified mobility devices.
“Hate it when this happens. Causing so much inconvenience to innocent neighbours,” added Facebook user Rosni Rahman. Meanwhile, a netizen highlighted many have the mindset that if a unit is owned, they could do what they wanted with it, regardless of the rules or the law.
A few concerned citizens suggested for the HDB to install designated charging stations like the ones used by BlueSG vehicles, which could deter residents from overcharging in their homes.
“Costly mistake. Hope they are fine,” commented Facebook user Tay Teck Sheng. “Let’s learn from it. Doesn’t have to be PMD but other devices which could cause fire hazard as well. Just don’t leave any charging device unattended,” advised the individual.