Three fires linked to e-scooters; 2 burn victims

Preliminary probes show that fire occurred as repairs were being done on the devices

Three electric scooters burst into flames in separate incidents yesterday, with two people suffering burns in one case.

Preliminary investigations by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) found that the fire in all three cases occurred while repairs were being carried out on the personal mobility devices (PMDs).

The Straits Times understands that the owners may have been trying to repair or even modify the devices themselves.

The SCDF said in its Facebook post that the burn victims were found at 2, Alexandra Road. No one was injured in the other two cases, which were in Sembawang Park and Block 114, Pasir Ris Street 11.

PMDs, especially e-scooters, have become increasingly popular in Singapore and this has resulted in a rise of such fires. From January to October this year, fires involving PMDs totalled 38, up from 25 cases in the same period last year.

The SCDF advises people who suspect any fault in a PMD to take it back to the retailer for inspection or repair, instead of trying to fix it themselves.

Experts had reportedly said that fires involving e-scooters and electric bicycles could have been caused by cheap batteries, which can overheat easily. Safety guidelines for PMDs in the upcoming Active Mobility Act, for their use on public paths, set a maximum unladen weight of 20kg, maximum width of 70 cm and speed of up to 25kmh.

  • 38 

    Number of fires involving PMDs from January to October this year.

  • 25 

    Number of fires involving PMDs in the same period last year.

The Land Transport Authority said recently that every month, an average of 40 PMD users are caught riding on public roads, which is an offence under the Road Traffic Act.

These violations between January and November this year is an 18 per cent rise from last year's monthly average of 34.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2017, with the headline 'Three fires linked to e-scooters; 2 burn victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe