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Self Storage Association Asia Issues Safety Reminder in Response to New Singapore Warehouse Fire

Self Storage Association Asia (SSAA), a trade association dedicated to supporting self-storage operators and suppliers in emerging markets along the Pacific Rim, has issued a reminder to members that personal mobility devices (PMDs), such as electric scooters, shouldn’t be stored at their facilities. The reminder was prompted by an Aug. 3 warehouse fire in Bukit Batok, Singapore, in two units where PMDs and other electrical items were stored, according to a source.

At issue are devices that use lithium-ion batteries, such as power banks, which carry a fire risk, according to Helen Ng, SSAA chair. PMDs were already included in a suggested list of prohibited storage items distributed by the association, but the SSAA wanted to draw a clear line linking batteries with scooters. “We reject PMDs regardless of whether they come with batteries intact or not,” Ng told a source. "Individual storage companies might have their own practices. The association does not regulate their individual practices but advises on best practices."

An employee with Integrated Storage Space Rental + Mover indicated the company allows its customers to store PMDs but asks tenants to remove the batteries. The Singapore self-storage operator isn’t an SSAA member, a source reported.

Though no one was reported injured in the recent blaze, the number of reported fires involving power-assisted bicycles and PMDs more than doubled in Singapore during the first half of 2019. Through June, there were 54 fires involving mobility devices compared to 24 last year, according to information published by the Singapore Civil Defense Force.

The SSAA reminder is reminiscent to a statement it issued in December 2016 warning customers not to store banned items or engage in illegal activity at storage facilities. It also encouraged facility operators to display a public-safety poster that included a list of activities and stored goods that are prohibited at their properties.

The association issued the poster in summer 2016 after two storage-facility fires in Hong Kong killed two firefighters and injured another. The blazes prompted government officials to suspend self-storage development inside industrial buildings, while agencies conducted safety checks throughout the region.

Launched in 2014, SSAA supports members' interests to help grow the self-storage industry in Asia. Of its 169 members in Asia, eight have facilities in Singapore, a source reported.

Sources:
The New Paper, Association Issues Reminder: PMDs Banned From Self-Storage Facilities
Channel News Asia, Fire Ravages Bukit Batok Warehouse Units Storing PMDs, Electrical Items
The Straights Times, Fire Raged for 3 Hours at Bukit Batok Warehouse Units Storing PMDs, Electrical Items

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