Fires show importance of prevention efforts

There have been at least three fires involving exhaust ducts in food establishments in the last six months - at Albert Centre Market and Food Centre, Lucky Plaza and Balmoral Plaza ("Fire at Albert Centre, 30 people evacuated"; June 15 and "Fire at Lucky Plaza restaurant"; Dec 19, as well as "Lunchtime fire in Balmoral Plaza eatery's exhaust duct; no one hurt"; ST Online, Dec 31).

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fires.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has, since Dec 1, 2014, required that kitchen exhaust ducts and kitchen hoods must be degreased and cleaned at least once every 12 months by a specialist, and that proper records be kept.

Most operators understand the fire safety risk to adjoining properties and occupants, and take steps to prevent exhaust duct fires.

The SCDF and all stakeholders must continue to advocate fire prevention in food establishments.

Enforcement is also essential to ensure ongoing compliance with the fire safety requirements.

Loong Chik Tong