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Singapore

Hospitalized after power-assisted bicycle battery ignites in Punggol flat

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  • Adhering to SCDF’s recommendations can prevent battery fires.
  • There is an increasing trend of fires involving PMDs and PABs in Singapore.
  • Quick evacuation and SCDF’s prompt response minimized the impact of the fire.

In the early hours of June 2, 2024, a fire broke out in a Housing Board flat in Punggol, Singapore, due to the battery of a power-assisted bicycle (PAB) catching fire. The incident resulted in one person being hospitalized for smoke inhalation, underscoring the critical need for stringent fire safety measures when handling and charging e-bike batteries.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to the fire at Block 326A Sumang Walk at approximately 2:10 AM. Upon arrival, SCDF officers found that the occupants of the affected unit had already evacuated. The fire, which originated from the battery pack of a PAB charging in the living room, was swiftly extinguished by firefighters from the Punggol Fire Station using a water jet.

Immediate Response and Hospitalization

Three residents from neighboring units experienced shortness of breath due to smoke inhalation and were taken to Sengkang General Hospital. Additionally, a firefighter who felt fatigued during the operation was also hospitalized as a precautionary measure. The SCDF later confirmed that the firefighter was discharged and given seven days of medical leave.

Rising Incidents of Battery Fires

This incident is part of a worrying trend in Singapore. According to the SCDF’s mid-year report, there were 27 fires involving personal mobility devices (PMDs) and PABs in the first half of 2023, up from 22 cases in the same period in 2022. These statistics highlight the growing risk associated with the improper handling and charging of e-bike batteries.

Fire Safety Tips and Recommendations

To prevent such incidents, the SCDF has issued several recommendations:

  • Avoid Extended Charging: Do not charge batteries for extended periods or leave them charging overnight.
  • Use Original Batteries: Always use original batteries and avoid purchasing non-original or uncertified batteries.
  • Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect the battery and charger for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Proper Storage: Store batteries in a cool, dry place away from flammable materials.

Expert Insights

Mamoona Saeed, an SEO Specialist, emphasizes the importance of clear and concise content when discussing fire safety. "A good introduction, short sentences, and highlighting main points can make the information more accessible and engaging for readers," she advises.

The Punggol flat fire serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with e-bike batteries. By following SCDF’s safety recommendations and being vigilant about battery maintenance, residents can significantly reduce the risk of such fires. As the use of personal mobility devices continues to rise, so too must our commitment to fire safety.

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