Given the rise in the number of accidents involving e-scooters and other personal mobility devices, it’s time to take safety seriously.
By Siti Rohani
There’s increasing concern over the risk of electric scooters catching fire or exploding due to faulty batteries or overcharging.
A recent viral video showed a father in Beijing barely escaping his apartment with his young daughter after the e-scooter he had been charging burst into flames. Watch the video here.
Such incidents are also becoming commonplace in Singapore.
According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), cases of e-scooter fires shot up 350 per cent to 40 in 2017, compared to just nine cases in 2016.
In a recent March 2018 incident, three people had to be rescued from their third-storey apartment when an e-scooter battery pack caught fire.
An SCDF spokesman was quoted as saying that e-scooters have batteries that are packed with energy and contain flammable material, thus excessive impact, overcharging and faulty electrical circuitry can cause a fire.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your device is compliant with local safety regulations.
After that, follow these safety tips when charging your device, as recommended by the SCDF:
Find a suitable space to charge your device
When charging your PMD, or personal mobility device, stay away from any heat source or combustible items.
For example, charge your device far away from curtains or bedsheets that can easily catch fire.
You should also avoid charging your PMD immediately after using it – wait for the battery to cool down.
Do not overcharge
Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging.
Do not overcharge your device as some batteries may not be equipped with an auto power-off function.
And make sure you don’t leave your device to be charged overnight, especially unattended.
Ensure proper storage when not in use
If you’re not planning to use your device for a significant amount of time, tape over the charging terminals. Store the batteries at room temperature and keep them away from heat sources or combustible items.