Battery fires on the rise amid drop in fire cases

Battery fires continued their uptrend against a backdrop of fewer fires overall, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) yesterday.

The number of fires reported from January to last month was 15 per cent lower than for the same period last year, said SCDF.

In total, 1,275 fires were reported in the first four months of this year, down from 1,502 previously.

Thirteen cases were fires involving rechargeable batteries, including ones in electric bicycles. Last year, there were eight such fires.

With the popularity of electric bicycles, personal mobility devices and power banks, consumers need to be aware of preventive steps.

"Battery fires can be caused by faulty electrical circuitry that may lead to short-circuiting of the batteries," said SCDF in a statement.

The high current drawn by faulty circuits can generate enough heat to ignite the devices or materials that are in close proximity to them.

  • 1,275 Total number of fires reported in the first four months of this year, down from 1,502 in the same period last year.

As a precaution, avoid overcharging, and batteries should never be charged overnight. "Some models do not have a power cut-off function to prevent overcharging, which could lead to a fire," said SCDF.

The 935 residential fires from January to last month included ones that originated in rubbish chutes.

Members of the public who spot fire hazards can report them to SCDF by calling 1800-280-0000 or e-mailing They can also submit photos and a description using the mySCDF app.

Camillia Deborah Dass

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2017, with the headline 'Battery fires on the rise amid drop in fire cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe