SINGAPORE: The number of reported fires involving power-assisted bicycles (PAB) and personal mobility devices (PMDs) has more than doubled in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post on Friday (Jul 26) that there were a total of 54 reported fires involving such mobility devices from January to June this year.

That is more than double compared to the same period last year, when there were 24 such reported fires.

“The number of such fires in residential premises in the first half of 2019 increased to 36, with 31 people injured, from 23 fires in the same period in 2018 where 11 people were injured,” SCDF added.

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Fire at Senja HDB unit

Preliminary findings indicate the fire at a unit at HDB block 636C Senja Road originated from the battery pack of a Personal Mobility Device (PMD). (Photo: SCDF)

SCDF said the majority of PAB and PMD-related fires involved lithium-ion batteries, and occurred while the batteries were being charged or shortly after they had been fully charged.

“Fires can result from faulty electrical circuitry in batteries that causes short circuiting or overheating, and the risk of this increases with over-charging. Users of PABs or PMDs should be vigilant when charging their devices, as improper charging methods or use of unapproved equipment can endanger lives and damage property,” the force said.

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SCDF Tampines HDB flat destroyed PMD fire

A fire broke out at a Tampines HDB flat when a PMD battery was being charged. (Photo: Facebook/SCDF)

SCDF added that the overall fire situation in Singapore remains safe and the number of fire incidents remains stable.

“PAB and PMD fires continue to form a small percentage of the total number of fire incidents, with 2,231 fire incidents in the first half of this year,” the force said.