In light of recent spate of apartment fires sparked by faulty e-scooters, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority is now assessing whether it should bring forward its January 2021 deadline to ban so-called personal mobility devices (PMDs) that fail to meet its safety requirements.
Two days after an e-scooter caused a fire that gutted a flat in Ang Mo Kio, the LTA went on Facebook to say that the recent fires have been linked to devices that did not comply to the UL2272 certification, meaning they hadn’t passed a stringent set of tests designed to reduce fire and electrical hazards.
Local retailers have been banned from selling e-scooters, e-bikes and other non-certified PMDs since July 1, while those sold prior to July 1 have been given until January 2021 to be brought up to code.
But that deadline is 17 months away and Singapore has already seen reports of at least eight fire incidents linked to e-scooters and e-bikes this year.
According to LTA’s website, an electrical anomaly in the circuit or batteries is the likely cause of fires linked to such unsafe devices.
The anomaly could have resulted from physical damage to the device, manufacturing defects, overcharged batteries, or unsuitable batteries and chargers, LTA said, citing literature reviews and consultations with the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
While LTA did not list the models that are prone to fires, it did list on its website some that are considered safe for use.
These include the e-scooter model Gaoke Times P12, manufactured by Shenzhen Gaoke Times Technology, and the Swagtron Swagger 1 by Shenzhen Global E-commerce.
However, just because a bike is on that list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s certified, the LTA warned.