Despite several warnings issues by authorities about the usage and charging of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), another fire accident took place this weekend, at a charging point for power-assisted bike (PAB) in an HDB block on Saturday, July 27.
This time, a resident was using an electrical socket in a public place to charge the PAB when fire broke out on the first storey outside a unit at Block 191, Boon Lay Drive.
A few weeks ago a similar fire incident was reported from the fourth-storey unit of the same block. It started involving a mattress in a bedroom and forced almost 100 people to leave the block, while six residents were injured.
However, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that in the latest incident, no report of injuries was made but almost 20 people have rushed out of the block. Local MPs said that the socket in void decks is not for public use.
Shin Min Daily News has identified a factory worker, aged 36, who admitted that the PAB belonged to her son. Since she was unable to pay the household electricity bill, her son had to go downstairs to charge his bike.
When residents of the block spotted the fire, they managed to put it out with buckets of water before the arrival of the SCDF officials.
Patrick Tay, an MP for West Coast GRC said, "These areas can also be equipped with safety and security measures installed to mitigate against any fires.
"It may be a better solution because when residents charge these devices in their homes, there could be items lying around that could pose as fire hazards."
PMD experts suggested that the most important factor in these devices should be to meet the safety standards.