Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Govt considering making home fire alarms mandatory

SINGAPORE – The government has been mulling over mandating the installation of home fire alarms in view of the rising proportion of injuries arising from residential fires over the past decade.

The government is considering mandating home fire alarm devices in view of the rise in the proportion of residential home fires . Photo by Najeer Yusof.

The government is considering mandating home fire alarm devices in view of the rise in the proportion of residential home fires . Photo by Najeer Yusof.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE – The government has been mulling over mandating the installation of home fire alarms in view of the rising proportion of injuries arising from residential fires over the past decade.

Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo shared this in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 3). She said such standalone devices – which are not linked to a central alert system – could help to minimise injuries or fatalities in a residential fire.

Last year, residential fires were the cause of around 70 per cent of fire injuries, up from about 40 per cent a decade ago.

Mrs Teo said: “The purpose of (such a device) is to provide early warning to the occupants in the event of a fire, so that they can quickly extinguish the fire or swiftly make their way to safety before the fire escalates.”

According to a 2015 report by the National Fire Protection Association, the fatality rate from residential fires in homes with these devices was 40 per cent lower than those without.

Mrs Teo was responding to a parliamentary question filed by Member of Parliament (Tanjong Pagar GRC) Joan Pereira on the parties responsible for maintaining home smoke alarms to be installed in all newly-built homes from June 2018.

Ms Pereira asked if the authorities would carry out maintenance checks and battery repair or replacement works for residents, particularly those living in a rental flat or a studio apartment. Elderly residents may not know how to check their devices, or could face danger replacing batteries, she noted.

But Mrs Teo pointed out that maintenance merely involved pressing a button on the device to ensure that there was battery life remaining, and each battery could last around 10 years.

She added that that Singapore Civil Defence Force would incorporate the feedback of grassroots advisors into the scheme.

Ms Pereira had also asked about connecting these alarms to a central system for the sake of elderly residents with hearing and vision problems.

In the market, there are various models catering to different user needs. Residents with vision and hearing problems could consider models with vibrating pads or visual alarms, Mrs Teo replied.

MP Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) said that she was told that not all rental flats would be retrofitted with these devices, and this would only apply to rental flats with elderly residents due to cost constraints. “But then rental flat (residents) shift in and out. Will the Minister consider installing it in all rental flats?” she asked.

“The short answer is yes,” said Mrs Teo.

More details will be unveiled later this year.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.