PMD battery catches fire while charging in Marsiling flat, elderly man taken to hospital

The fire happened at 4.25am on Oct 1, in a unit on the 11th floor of Block 214 in Marsiling Lane. PHOTO: SCDF / FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - An elderly man was taken to hospital after a fire, suspected to have been caused by a personal mobility device (PMD) battery, broke out in his Marsiling flat on Tuesday morning (Oct 1).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post on the same day that another person living in the flat had put out the fire with buckets of water before its firefighters arrived at the scene.

The fire happened at 4.25am at a unit on the 11th floor of Block 214 in Marsiling Lane. The man was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for smoke inhalation.

It is unclear if the PMD involved was UL2272-certified. The UL2272 standard is a set of safety requirements covering the electrical drive train system of PMDs, including the battery system.

E-scooter owners are required by law to have their devices UL2272-certified by July 1 next year.

SCDF said preliminary investigations showed that the source of the Marsiling fire was electrical in origin and was due to one of three PMD batteries that were charging at the time of the fire.

It encouraged all owners of non-UL2272-certified PMDs to dispose of their devices at designated points as soon as possible.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is facilitating this process at 181 spots across the island at no cost to e-scooter owners. This will last six months from Sept 23, 2019, to March 31, 2020, with those who do so before Nov 30 eligible for a $100 incentive.

In the first half of this year, there were 49 fires related to PMDs, an average of about two a week.

In the worst of these cases, a 40-year-old man died in hospital after being rescued from his burning flat in Bukit Batok. The blaze was linked to three e-scooters found burnt in the unit.

E-scooter owners can refer to LTA's website for more information on the UL2272 standard and the free disposal scheme.

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