Smoke detectors a must for new homes from June
SCDF recommends fire alarms with a built-in battery that lasts 10 years and costs around $50 to $80
All new public and private home owners must install smoke detectors from June next year.
Known as Home Fire Alarm Devices (HFAD), they will be made mandatory in all new residential homes, announced Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo yesterday.
This is because more people, especially the elderly, have been getting hurt in home fires.
And 50,000 low-income households will get the detectors installed for free.
Speaking at the third Fire Safety Asia Conference, Mrs Teo said these alarms will help prevent residential fire injuries.
Said Mrs Teo at the event at the Parkroyal Hotel in Beach Road: "The HFADs will provide residents with early alerts to incipient smokes or fires so they can take steps to quell the fire and prevent it from further spreading. Or if that is not possible, to quickly evacuate."
New single-storey homes will need one device installed in their living rooms or a common central area. As for multi-storey homes, every level will have to have at least one device. Floors with common central areas of more than 70 sq m will need at least two HFADs.
Existing homes are not required to have these alarms installed unless they undergo renovation with fire safety implications. They are, however, encouraged to do so.
Home owners will pay for the alarms. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the recommended alarms are those with a built-in battery that lasts 10 years, which can cost around $50 to $80 each, excluding installation costs.
Mrs Teo said needy residents in about 50,000 public rental households will have the detectors installed by the Government for free.The process will take about three years to complete, she added.
When she first spoke about the issue in Parliament last month, Mrs Teo said that last year, about 70 per cent of fire injuries came from fires that started in homes. This is nearly double the 40 per cent figure from a decade ago.
There were 2,818 reported fires in residential premises last year, which resulted in 62 injuries. A 68-year-old man was killed in a Hume Avenue fire in April last year.
The requirement to have all new homes fitted with a detector will be specified in the Fire Code. This code will also make it compulsory for non-residential buildings with large unmanned premises, such as warehouses, to have a video image fire detection systemto detect and confirm fires more quickly.