Don't take fire safety lightly

I read with concern about the increasing occurrence of fires in buildings and apartments here.

In the span of three days, there were fires in Parkway Parade mall, a Bedok HDB flat,and a pre-school in Bukit Timah ("Parkway Parade closed till further notice after fire" and "No injuries from fire, thanks to neighbours"; both published on Tuesday, and "No injuries in fire at pre-school"; yesterday).

In recent months, fires have also occurred in other places, such as Jurong Island ("Fire at petrochemical plant rages for 5 hours"; April 21).

I have seen department stores and buildings which are crammed with merchandise and equipment along the corridors and stairways, infringing fire safety rules.

With the deluge of electronic devices, from mobile phones and tablets to drones, many people are using multiple power banks and lithium batteries, and charging them constantly. This is also a potential fire hazard.

While fires may have different causes, most are probably due to negligence, and hence, are preventable.

There could be lapses in fire safety in places which need to be looked at urgently.

To prevent damage to property, loss of business and maybe even loss of lives from fires, perhaps the authorities should look into educating the public on basic fire-safety regulations and fire-prevention measures.

Janis Soo Tah Ching (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2016, with the headline 'Don't take fire safety lightly'. Print Edition | Subscribe