Singapore

Cleaning machine completely burned down: Such fires are 'rare'

Supplier of cleaning machine that burst into flames in Ubi warns against vacuuming up potential fire hazards like lit cigarette butts and incense sticks

A worker jumped off his cleaning machine when it burst into flames at an HDB carpark in Ubi earlier this month.

The fire was a rare occurrence, The New Paper found out from checks with the supplier of Tennant All Terrain Litter Vacuum (ATLV) 4300 and another cleaning company that uses the same model.

Mr Richard Tan, senior product manager at Klenco, the sole distributor of the ATLV 4300 here, said it has sold more than 300 units of the machine in the last 15 years.

"To our knowledge, there has been no other case where the whole machine completely burned down," he said.

On Aug 16, an ATLV 4300 caught fire at a carpark at Ubi Avenue 1.

The operator from cleaning company Clean Solutions escaped injury when he jumped off the machine as it was engulfed in flames and burned to its core.

An earlier TNP report had wrongly identified the vehicle as an automated road sweeper.

Mr Tan, 48, said: "A well-maintained machine should not face any problems."

AVOID

But he warned that the operators must avoid vacuuming up improperly extinguished cigarette butts and incense sticks.

"They are potential fire hazards," he explained.

Mr Milton Ng of Ramky Cleantech Services said his company has been using the machine to vacuum up litter for more than 10 years.

"None of our machines have caught fire," said the managing director, who is in his 50s.

"Sometimes our equipment get vandalised as there are no proper parking spaces accorded to us by property owners."

He added that the machines are deployed to clean open areas and even terrain such as carparks, pavements and park connectors.

"It is a highly mobile equipment that is able to manoeuvre in most terrains," said Mr Ng.

"Compared to manually sweeping the floor, using the machine is much more productive."

Clean Solutions is waiting to find out the cause of the fire from its insurance adjusters. Its sales director, Mr Sunny Khoo, 46, said the company has been using the ATLV 4300 for more than 10 years.

He added that the machine is serviced every three months.

"Initially, we suspected a short circuit as the cause of the fire, but we are waiting for investigations to be completed," he said.

"We, too, want to know what caused the fire."

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