Smoke alarms for homes

Look further into cost, maintenance issues

It was reported that all newly built homes - Housing Board flats as well as private residences - will have to be installed with smoke detectors from next June, when an updated Fire Code is released (All new homes to have smoke alarms from June; Aug 11).

The authorities should conduct more feasibility studies before implementing such a measure.

Having such a system in homes may look good on paper, but does not serve any purpose if home owners do not maintain their systems, unlike the commercial sector, where there are regular maintenance and testing of smoke alarms.

If the authorities want to ensure the effectiveness of such a measure, they should not only ensure that all new HDB flats or private condominiums come with the smoke detectors installed, but also bring the maintenance of the system under the HDB or condominium managements' purview, to ensure that it is regularly serviced or tested.

They should not leave it to home owners to bear the cost and maintain such devices.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Look further into cost, maintenance issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe