Fire Safety Tips for Personal Mobility Devices PMD, Power Assisted Bicycle PAB, Personal Mobility Aid PMA
Electric fires caused by the charging of batteries are not new, and they are increasing in numbers in Singapore. In 2019, there was already more electric fires in the first seven months than the whole of 2018. Moving forward, there may be even more electric fire caused by batteries charging in 2020.
The government has responded by bringing forward six months the compulsory usage of only UL2272 fire-safety certified devices. The government has brought forward the safety deadline by six months:- all PMDs must comply with UL2272 certification from July 2020.
Fire risk caused by charging batteries
- Charging of PMDs (Personal Mobility Devices), such as e-scooters, hoverboards
- Charging of PABs (Power Assisted Bicycles), such as e-bicycles.
- Charging of PMA (Personal Mobility Aid), such as electric wheelchair, mobility scooter for the disabled or elderlys
- Charging of mobile phones (be it iPhone, Samsung, Huawei or other androids phones), tablets, iPads.
- Other appliances with big capacity batteries.
Electric fires can be caused when the batteries are faulty and become, bloated, exploded or overheated.
Fire Safety Tips for PMDs and PABs
- Do NOT charge a personal mobility device (PMD) or a power-assisted bicycle (PAB) or personal mobility aid (PMA) and leave it unattended overnight or for an extended period of time. This is not only risky as the batteries may burst into fire without anyone knowing to stop the fire, it is considered negligible and non-claimable by home contents insurance.
- Do NOT charge your devices near combustible materials or along an escape path (near the door etc)
- Do not charge the PMD/PAB/PMA immediately after use. Let the motor cool down first.
- Do not tamper, modify or attempt to repair PMD/PAB/PMA on your own. Refer to specialist or manufacturer.
- Do use a power adaptor that carries the Safety Mark and recommended by the manufacturer.
- Do purchase your devices with UL2272 certification. That is proof that the battery is certificated to be designed according to fire safety measures. Refer to LTA’s website (bit.ly/ul2272sg) for more information on UL2272 certification and an indicative list of UL2272 certified devices available in Singapore.
- Do regularly examine your batteries for any damage or deformities such as bloating, corrosion or powdery residue.
- Do charge your PAB/PMD/PMA on a hard, flat surface to allow optimal dissipation of heat. This is so that the area does not get too hot and start burning the surrounding.
What is UL2272 certification for PMD?
UL2272 certification means the device automatically cuts off battery charging once the battery is fully charged, thus avoiding overcharging which can cause the battery to overheat and leads to an electric fire.
Mandatory inspection from April 2020
All e-scooters owners will need to send their e-scooters for inspections to ensure that their e-scooters are compliant with safety. Currently, the government is discussing whether to have a one-off inspection or periodic inspections.
Charging of your hand phone, tablets, mobile devices.
- Do use manufacturer’s provided chargers or high-quality chargers that do not overcharge or continue to charge even when the battery is full.
- Do not charge your battery overhead next to you when sleeping. In one incident a year ago, the phone battery exploded, killing the sleeping owner next to it.
- Keep your charging area free of combustible materials.
Does your home content insurance cover electric fire caused by e-scooter?
If you are charging your PMD / PAB / PMA while leaving the battery unattended, home contents insurance does NOT cover you.
Such causes of electric fire at condos, landed homes, or HDB is not covered by home content insurance as it is an act of negligible for charging the battery and going to sleep or leaving your home.
Does home content insurance covers your home if your neighbour caused a fire due to e-scooter or PMD battery charging?
Yes, even if your neighbour has been negligible and charged his PMD or e-scooter unattended. This is because the insurance company understands that this is not your fault and will cover for damage caused by unintentionally by your neighbour or acts of nature.
Do note that the home insurers reserve the right to claim for damages against the neighbour for causing the fire.
Does HDB Fire Scheme covers your home contents caused by electric fire or any fire?
No. HDB Fire Insurance scheme does not cover your personal belongings. HDB fire insurance scheme covers the structure of the HDB and does not cover any assets, contents owned by the home owners.
You need to get a decent home content insurance package to cover your
- personal belongings
- electric appliances
Do not over pay for your home content insurance, get a value for money home content insurance in Singapore
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