Fire safety checks for condos

Singapore property fire checks

Singapore property fire checks

ABOUT 200 private residential estates will have to put their fire safety systems through an annual inspection from January, when the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) expands its fire certification scheme to certain residential buildings.

The management of these condominiums will have to engage a qualified professional engineer to certify that the estate’s fire safety systems are in good working condition.

They can then apply to the SCDF for a certificate, which has to be renewed every year.

This certification scheme used to apply only to commercial and industrial buildings such as shopping malls and factories.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee said in a speech yesterday to mark Civil Defence Day that private residential estates had become ‘more massive and complex’ in recent years.

Thus, it is necessary that fire safety systems will have to be properly maintained as well, he added.

In May, about 200 residents in Ava Tower, a condominium off Balestier Road, had to be evacuated when an eighth-floor unit caught fire. No one was injured and the blaze was put out within 10 minutes.

An SCDF spokesman said the new rules will affect large private residential buildings that are above 24m high, or roughly eight storeys high, and have basement facilities.

The affected estates must also be equipped with one or more of these fire safety systems: wet rising mains, sprinklers, smoke control systems and automatic fire alarm systems

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