A recent e-bike explosion in China sent five people, including a 5-month-old baby girl, to the hospital.
The incident, which was first reported by The Paper, stated that the incident happened in an elevator of a residential community in the Chenghua District of Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
A recording of the elevator’s interior reveals that the e-bike of one of the five passengers suddenly emitted smoke and started burning after the elevator’s doors were closed.
The five victims are alive and have been sent to the hospital, according to a Longtan Subdistrict office staff member. However, the 5-month-old baby girl is still in life-threatening condition, the baby’s father announced. He also mentioned that the baby’s grandmother received burns on 75% of her body and is still in critical condition.
Singapore has also seen its share of e-bikes and other such devices exploding or catching fire. A 40-year-old man recently died from multi-organ failure while rescuing his family’s dogs from a fire in their flat in Bukit Batok Street 21. Authorities tracked the source of the fire to the overheating battery of the family’s Speedway personal mobility device (PMD). The overheating was caused by the PMD’s two-pin plug and charging port due to loosened contacts and a faulty charger.
This incident may be the first of its kind in 2021, as the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has yet to publish a report on the number of PMD-caused fires for this year. Since 2016, the SCDF has recorded at least 252 cases of fire involving PMDs, with 2019 bearing witness to the highest number (102) of PMD-related fires.
Although the cause of the e-bike exploding and bursting into flames in China has yet to be disclosed, the main cause of PMDs catching fire in Singapore seems to be accredited to overheating due to overcharging. Partly due to this, the Singaporean government approved an incentive scheme to dispose of non-compliant registered e-scooters. The scheme, which took place from September 2019 to December 2019, gave people S$100 for each non-compliant registered e-scooter disposed of.
To avoid such incidents, the SCDF advises PMD owners to keep the following tips in mind:
- Do not leave batteries or devices to charge unattended for an extended period of time or overnight.
- Do not charge the PAB/PMD immediately after use.
- Do not charge a PAB/PMD or its batteries near combustible materials or along an escape path.
- Do not tamper with, modify, or attempt to repair a device on your own.
- Do purchase PMDs with UL2272 Certification Mark.
- Do purchase PABs with the EN15194 certification and affixed with LTA’s orange seal of approval.
- Do charge PAB/PMD on a hard, flat surface to allow optimal dissipation of heat.
- Do use a power adaptor that carries the Safety Mark and is recommended by the manufacturer.
- Do regularly examine batteries for any damage or deformities such as bloating, corrosion or powdery residue.
Written by John Paul Joaquin