SCDF steps up fire-risk checks for festive season

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is stepping up its fire safety enforcement checks at commercial premises as the festive season goes into full swing.

The agency said in a statement yesterday that officers had inspected shopping malls and public entertainment outlets at Tampines, Jurong and Clarke Quay in an enforcement operation last Friday.

Such checks will continue throughout the festive season, said SCDF.

This comes after two fires related to festive decorations occurred in eight days.

A Christmas tree outside Knightsbridge mall in Orchard Road went up in flames last Wednesday, while a piece of decoration tied to a street lamp outside Peranakan Place caught fire last Thursday night.

During last Friday's operation, SCDF detected several fire safety violations, such as unauthorised change of use in parts of the premises, non-functioning exit lights, and obstruction to common passageways and exit doors.

"Such violations pose fire risks and would impede the safe evacuation of people during an emergency," said SCDF.

"SCDF takes fire safety violations seriously and will not hesitate to take tough enforcement actions against the offenders."

First-time offenders may be fined up to $5,000. Repeat offenders will be prosecuted in court and can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed up to six months.

Major offences like commencement of fire safety works without plan approval carry a fine of up to $200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 24 months, or both.

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 13, 2015, with the headline 'SCDF steps up fire-risk checks for festive season'. Print Edition | Subscribe