Guard against vehicle fires regardless of location

A fire-fighting system spanning about 11km across the Central Expressway and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway tunnels would cost millions in taxpayer money to install and maintain (KPE, CTE tunnels to get water-mist system to fight fires; Oct 5).

Considering that only a handful of the 236 car fires reported last year happened in the CTE and KPE tunnels, such a system does not make good economic sense.

It is debatable whether a fire raging under the bonnet of a car can be doused by simply raining water onto the burning vehicle.

The issue of vehicle fires on open roads is also left unaddressed.

The Land Transport Authority should invite specialists in vehicle automatic fire suppression systems to propose cost-effective solutions that will provide a first line of defence without human intervention in the event of a vehicle fire.

Vehicular fires pose safety risks to lives and assets. The ensuing disruption to traffic flow will exact heavy economic costs as well.

Therefore, the authorities must have the gumption to implement compulsory installation of fire suppression systems in vehicles so that every vehicle will have fire protection capabilities, regardless of where they are.

Leong Kok Hoe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2017, with the headline 'Guard against vehicle fires regardless of location'. Print Edition | Subscribe