Re-examine process of approving fire safety-related materials

It is disturbing that there are so many buildings in Singapore that fall short in fire safety standards (36 buildings using cladding that may not meet standard; Aug 25).

It is also surprising that the newly opened Our Tampines Hub is included in the list of buildings that used external cladding not adhering to safety standards in the Fire Code.

This gives rise to the question: How did Our Tampines Hub and the 35 other buildings pass the approval stage in the first place?

Are a building's design and the material to be used for cladding made known to the Singapore Civil Defence Force during the approval process?

If they are not, then maybe we should relook the process of approving fire safety-related materials and building design before any construction starts.

It is also quite alarming that the list of buildings includes some residential dwellings.

What happened to Grenfell Tower in London should serve as a grim reminder to us not to be complacent about fire safety. Prevention is better than cure.

David Tan Kok Kheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2017, with the headline 'Re-examine process of approving fire safety-related materials'. Print Edition | Subscribe