Besides the notoriously loud music that PMD riders play when scooting around the neighbourhood, is there anything else that comes to mind when the word “PMD” is mentioned?
If you have been keeping up with the news, you might have thought of “fire”.
In lieu of all the recent events, the government has decided to set up a new task force for PMD fires.
Yup, because I don’t think any of us want our houses to burn down.
Increase in fire cases involving PMDs
According to CNA, the number of reported fires involving personal mobility devices (PMDS) and power-assisted bicycles (PAB) has more than doubled in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year.
Just last week, a fire broke out in a Sembawang flat. SCDF had said in a Facebook post that the cause of the fire was attributed to the PMD that was charging at the time of the fire.
In September 2018, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min had announced that all motorised PMDs must meet the UL2272 safety standard by Jan 1, 2021.
However, in light of the recent strings of fires caused by PMDs, the deadline to meet the safety standard has been brought forward. The Land Transport Authority would need PMD users to ensure their devices comply with the UL2272 standard by July 1, 2020.
The Task Force
The group has been set up by the Government to pool resources as well as share expertise and information among agencies.
The task force is made up of the following agencies- the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Enterprise Singapore.
It is chaired by the LTA and SCDF.
During their first meeting last week, they discussed how they could develop and co-ordinate efforts to raise the importance of UL2272 certification, along with the issue of fire risks arising from improper charging and illegal modifications of the vehicles.
Fire Safety Standard
LTA mentioned that they adopted the UL2272 standard in September last year to improve fire safety. The certification involves a series of tests that assesses the full spectrum of the use conditions.
In addition, it will be made mandatory for all registered scooters to be inspected from April 1 next year.
Only 10 per cent of the electric scooters declared last month was UL2272-compliant. That’s a worrying figure.
Fire Safety Tips from the SCDF
So how can we prevent our houses from burning down you ask?
Well, if you own a PMD, here are some practices that you can adopt to make sure that you don’t accidentally burn down your home.
The LTA has also reminded PMD owners to practise safe charging by charging your PMD devices in a cool area that is not near any combustible materials.
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