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Illegal workers' dormitories posing fire risk

SCDF sees 36% increase in notices issued to homes converted for this purpose

Published on Aug 18, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Discarded items contributed to a fire that wrecked this lift landing on the 11th floor at Block 4, Marsiling Road. Such items, along with rubbish chutes and unattended cooking were the main sources of fires this year. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN

The practice of converting homes into workers' dormitories - a fire-safety violation - is posing a growing problem for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

In the first half of this year, 861 notices of this type of violation were given out, 36 per cent more than the 632 issued in the first half of last year.

Illegally turning a home into a place for other uses accounted for four in 10 notices issued for unauthorised change in the use of premises.

The remaining notices were issued to owners of industrial premises.

 
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Background story

Fire posts to be relocated

SOME of the 26 fire posts across the island will soon be moved to other areas, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said yesterday.

Their relocation will be completed by the end of next year.

Fire posts, much like neighbourhood police posts, are satellite fire stations that respond to relatively minor fires that happen near them.

They were introduced in 2000 and are typically found in HDB void decks. Examples of blocks that have them are Block 46, Toa Payoh Lorong 5; Block 133, Geylang East Avenue 1; and Block 105, Pasir Ris Street 12.

Colonel Anwar Abdullah, SCDF's director of operations, said that the relocation plan was to make the posts more strategic by adapting to changes in traffic, demographics or infrastructure.

He did not elaborate.

Details on which neighbourhoods would be affected by the move will be announced at a later date, he added.