Reprint from LTA Singapore
WHY IS THE ADOPTION OF A DEVICE SAFETY STANDARD NECESSARY?
The number of fires caused by motorised PMDs has increased in the past few years, with more than 90 fire incidents involving PMDs since 2016. As PMDs only started gaining popularity in recent years, many of the motorised PMDs used do not conform to any reliable safety standards. The adoption of a safety device standard is therefore necessary to ensure the safe use of such devices.
LTA carefully studied the safety standards available and determined that the UL2272 standard is most suitable for the common types of motorised PMDs used in Singapore, such as electric scooters (e-scooters), self-balancing hoverboards and electric unicycles.
Incidents of PMD-related fires over the last few years (photos credits from Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Facebook)
WHY WAS UL2272 CHOSEN OVER OTHER STANDARDS?
It is often difficult to determine the exact cause of the fires due to the extent of fire damage to the PMDs involved. However, based on literature reviews and consultations with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), PMD fires may be caused by an electrical anomaly to the electrical circuitry or batteries, which could result from various factors, but not limited to, physical damage to the device, overcharging of rechargeable batteries, use of an unsuitable charger/battery, or manufacturing defects.
UL2272 is assessed to be a suitable safety standard as it evaluates PMDs from a system-level perspective, which better anticipates the full spectrum of usage conditions of the entire PMD, instead of just assessing individual components of a device.
Getting a device certified for UL2272 requires passing a series of electrical, mechanical and environmental tests. Its testing parameters are based on several components like the electrical and mechanical factor for safety, as well as the impact of environmental factors such as exposure to water.
Evaluation tests for UL2272 can be broadly classified into 3 categories as follows:
1. ELECTRICAL TESTS
Electrical tests typically cover a range of tests:
- Short Circuit
- Dielectric Voltage
- Isolation Resistance
- Imbalanced Charging
A device undergoing a ‘temperature test’
(Image courtesy of SGS Testing & Control Services)
A temperature test typically determines whether a device’s battery cells and critical components are able to withstand specific operating current, voltage and temperature limits during charging and discharging conditions, e.g. when the device is in use/operation.
2. MECHANICAL TESTS
Mechanical tests typically cover a range of tests:
- Mold Stress Release
- Handle Loading
- Strain Relief
A device undergoing a ‘vibration test’
(Image courtesy of TUV Rheinland)
A vibration test evaluates the device’s ability to withstand vibration that may occur during its anticipated use. Device would be subjected to vibration in each axis for a stipulated period of time depending on the number of samples submitted.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL TESTS
Environmental tests typically cover a range of tests:
- Water Exposure (IPX4/ Partial Immersion)
- Thermal Cycling
A device undergoing an ‘IPX4 test’.
(Image courtesy of SGS Testing & Control Services)
During an ‘IPX4 test’, water is sprayed on devices from all directions using a rotating sprinkler system for 10 minutes to simulate rain and splashing of water. Following the test, device will be placed under an observation period to ensure that there is no explosion, fire, rupture, electrolyte leakage and shock based on the stipulated testing parameters.
PMD models that have been awarded the UL2722 certification must also undergo regular factory inspections to verify that device production continues to comply with requirements under the UL2272 standard. Manufacturers who persistently do not demonstrate adherence to the standard and take subsequent actions to ensure that their production line adheres to the standard may have their certification cancelled.
NOTE: While the UL2272 fire and electrical safety standard greatly reduces the risks of fire, PMD users should always practice proper handling and safety tips to prevent PMD fires and avoid exposing devices to extreme conditions or stress.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATED TO UL2272
Q1: How do I tell whether a device is UL2272 certified?
PMDs must carry certification marks issued by one of these certification bodies (refer to table below) to be considered certified to the UL2772 standard. These marks are usually found underneath the footboard of the certified device, along with the model number. For devices without a footboard e.g. unicycle, the mark may be found underneath the footrest or on the side of the device. You may refer to this document for a non-exhaustive list of motorised PMDs certified to the UL2272 standard as a guide.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)
Intertek Testing Services
Intertek Testing Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd
SGS Testing & Control Services
|TÜV SÜD PSB
Q2: What are the key dates for the adoption of the UL2272 standard?
From 1 January 2021, all non-UL2272 certified motorised PMDs will not be allowed on public paths, and all non-UL2272 certified e-scooters registered with LTA will be automatically deregistered. All retailers are also not allowed to sell non-UL2272 certified motorised PMDs from 1 July 2019.
Key dates to note:
|From 1 July 2019
Q3: My PMD does not have a recognised certification mark. Can LTA please certify my device so that I can use it from 1 Jan 2021?
LTA does not test nor certify devices to the UL2272 standard. This can only be carried out by an accredited certification body, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), CSA Group, Intertek Testing Services and SGS Testing & Control Services, and usually conducted upstream at the manufacturers’ factories and testing laboratories during the production of the device.
Q4: My PMD model can be found on LTA’s list of UL2272 certified devices but it does not have a recognised certification mark. Will LTA consider my PMD certified to the UL2722 standard?
No. LTA will only recognise that your PMD is certified to the UL2272 standard if it carries any of the certification marks recognised by LTA.
This is because for some PMDs of the same model, only the later batches may be considered certified if the factory obtained UL2272 certification by accredited certification bodies at a later stage. Conversely, if the factory loses its UL2272 certification later on, the batches produced prior to that may be considered UL2272 certified, while the newer batch will not be.
Hence, please refer to the list of UL2272 certified PMDs (http://bit.ly/ul2272sg) only as a guide, and confirm that your PMD is UL2272 certified by checking that it carries any of the certification marks recognised by LTA.
Q5: Can I sell a non-UL2722 certified PMD?
All sales of non-UL2272 certified PMDs will be prohibited from 1 July 2019.
Q6: How can retailers get their PMD models tested and certified to the UL2272 standard?
Retailers may approach any third-party certification body that is accredited for UL2272 product certification for details and thereafter work with their manufacturers to get their PMDs tested and certified to the UL2272 standard. Please refer to the list of accredited certification bodies the table below.
|S/N||Certification Body||Contact Details|
Tel: +65 6274 0702
Tel: +65 6812 5920
|3||Intertek Testing Services||Email: http://www.intertek.com/contact/inquiry/?route=1210&prompt=29945&id=837
Tel: +1800 967 5352
|4||Intertek Testing Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +65 6282 7187
|5||SGS Testing & Control Services||Email: email@example.com
Tel: +65 6379 0269
HP: +65 9172 9347
|6||TÜV Rheinland||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +65 6562 8750
|7||TÜV SÜD PSB||Email: email@example.com
Tel: +65 6885 1399
List of Accredited Certification Bodies for UL2272 Product Certification (Accurate as of 23 April 2019)
Alternatively, retailers may choose to source directly for PMDs which have been certified to the UL2272 standard.
Q7: Does LTA’s regulations include the charging of PMDs?
LTA does not regulate the charging of PMDs. However, power adapters used to charge PMDs are Controlled Goods under the Enterprise Singapore’s Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Registration Scheme. The Enterprise Singapore certified power adapters are required to fulfil specific safety requirements, e.g. having proper safeguards and insulation to prevent short circuit, fire, electric shock or electrocution. Compliant and registered power adapter models carry the SAFETY Mark label, and consumers are encouraged to only use such power adapters.
Q8: Does the UL2272 standard apply to other e-mobility devices (such as power-assisted bicycles and personal mobility aids)?
The UL2272 standard will apply only to motorised PMDs (such as e-scooters, hoverboards and electric unicycles) as we have already introduced tighter technical requirements for power-assisted bicycles (PABs). Since 1 February 2016, PABs approved for use on roads must meet the requirements under EN15194 standard adopted by many countries across Europe and in Australia. The standard includes testing requirements for short circuiting, overcharging, and mechanical strength of batteries.
As for other devices such as personal mobility aids (PMAs), we will monitor the situation and study the need to introduce relevant fire and electrical safety standards, if necessary.
Q9: Would LTA consider other safety device standards other than UL2272?
LTA is open to considering other safety device standards that meet our requirements.