Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said in a written reply to Parliament in Feb 2018 that HDB installs fire extinguishers at community areas in common areas, within rooms housing utilities services and in industrial facilities.
The current number and prevalence of fire extinguishers at HDB blocks are not clear.
“The SCDF encourages installing fire extinguishers within homes on a voluntary basis, instead of which makes it mandatory, as they are expensive and difficult to maintain, ” Mr Shanmugam published.
“If essential, residents can also make use of the hose reels that are provided in the typical areas of HDB blocks to put out incipient fires. ”
Associate Professor Faishal said SCDF, via public engagement programmes, has also been educating occupants on the use of fire extinguishers.
“Through these platforms, SCDF encourages residents to set up fire extinguishers in their premises on a non-reflex basis and also stocks information on the areas where hose fishing reels can be found in the common areas, ” he additional.
Assoc Prof Faishal was responding to questions from a number of MPs on the installing of fire warning products in HDB houses, including one simply by Ms Rachel Ong (PAP-West Coast) upon whether the ministry might consider placing open fire extinguishers along the typical corridor of specific floors for each HDB block.
On Aug 16, a good HDB resident had been killed after an open fire broke out in the flat at Obstruct 236, Jurong East Street 21. In regards to a day later, a fire reignited in the master bedroom of the same even despite firefighters executing damping-down operations — the application of water to burnt surfaces to prevent fires from rekindling.
Assoc Prof Faishal said on Monday that the quantity of fires in HDB estates continues to reduce annually, and that the particular fire fatality price remains low.
There were three fire fatalities in 2021 , all from home fire incidents within Ang Mo Kio, Yishun and Woodlands.
HOME OPEN FIRE ALARM DEVICE
Ms Ong also asked for an up-date on the installation of house fire alarm devices for all HDB community rental flats, below an assistance plan that provided free of charge installation for these occupants on a non-mandatory base.
Since June 2018, all new houses and existing homes that undergo fireplace safety works need to install these devices, which usually warn occupants of a fire so that they can wash away the flames or even evacuate the toned.
However , it is not mandatory for existing residential premises not carrying out fire security works to install the devices.
Assoc Prof Faishal responded that the scheme to install the devices in public areas rental flats had been completed in June 2021, and that the take-up rate then was 75 per cent.
HDB will progressively install the gadgets in the remaining open public rental flats when their tenants’ leases end, he stated, adding that the House Affairs Ministry presently does not intend to broaden the scheme.
MP Foo Mee Har (PAP-West Coast) also asked when the policy on the installing of fire-rated doors at HDB flats can be reviewed to allow a lot more pervasive use of such doors.
The particular Fire Code currently requires fire-rated entry doors for residential units, except where the residential unit looks an external corridor, therefore corridors have been evaluated to sufficiently help heat and smoke dissipation, Assoc Prof Faishal said.
Other fire protection requirements for home buildings include adequate exit staircases for your swift evacuation of occupants, fire engine access roads plus rising mains for firefighting operations.
Assoc Prof Faishal said SCDF regularly reviews the Open fire Code with stakeholders from other Government companies, industry and academia.
One example of the change in the program code is a requirement for new residential buildings exceeding 24m in habitable height to have an kitchen apron wall or horizontally ledge on the developing facade to minimise the risk of vertical open fire spread, he said.
Ms Foo then highlighted that based on her residents’ accounts, a “significant” number of households which have existing fire-rated doors are being offered non-fire-rated doors as replacements under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP).
The lady asked if these residents could choose to keep their fire-rated doors even if the existing Fire Code will not require the use of this kind of doors.
Assoc Prof Faishal replied that the HIP offers fire-rated doors according to the Fire Program code, although residents who wish to keep these doors can perform so at a subsidised cost.
“The resident will have the choice to change his or her existing fire-rated door to a new one at a subsidised cost, inch he said.
“Residents may opt to install fire-rated doorways even where this is simply not required under the Fire Code, but this would be at their own expense… What is key is the fact that if the Fire Program code does not require fire-rated doors, these extra costs will not be protected under the HIP. ”