Cleaning Robot Catches on Fire in SGH Ward; Patients Evacuated

A hospital is supposed to be a place of healing from whatever injury or illness you’ve unfortunately suffered.

Because of this, it was probably a rude shock for the patients in Ward 76 of Singapore General Hospital (SGH) when a fire broke out at 7:00 pm on 8 July.

SGH Fire Caused by Cleaning Robot

Of course, hospitals are not immune to fires. They’re filled with complex machinery of all kinds, it’s only natural.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The cause of this specific fire, though? According to the SGH Facebook page, it was from a cleaning robot inside the ward.

I always knew they were out to get us. I’ll be watching my Roomba closely nowadays.

Nonetheless, the sprinkler activated immediately and the fire response team made their way to the ward as well. By the time the fire warden arrived, the short-lived blaze had been extinguished.

The hospital staff moved the patients of Ward 76 out temporarily to escape the smoke and they returned to the ward at 9:00 pm.

Nobody but the robot suffered any injuries, thankfully. The patients probably aren’t too keen on seeing another cleaning bot right away though.

Lastly, SGH apologised for any inconvenience caused.

The reason for the fiery display by the robot is currently still unknown. Maybe by next month, it’d be illegal to charge cleaning robots inside a room or to ride them on footpaths.

Electrical fires are all too common, unfortunately, being the most common type of fire responded to by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) last year. They accounted for 30.6% of all fires in 2023.

Image: Facebook (@SCDF)

Of course, most of us probably don’t have a hardworking robot cleaner in our homes, but we don’t have a dedicated fire response team like SGH either.

Make sure your electrical products are kept in good working order and with properly compatible chargers.

Speaking of charging, it’s best not to let them charge overnight when you’re not awake to spot fires before it’s too late.

The batteries of devices tend to get hot when charged, make sure to leave them in a cool place. Don’t charge your phone under your pillow unless you want to get a free “Hair Burning” spa treatment.

Fires are definitely no joke, don’t play with metaphorical fire regarding them.

Unless of course, the fire in the ward was a deliberate action by the cleaning robot, in which case, start prepping for the robot uprising.

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