SCDF fire safety testing and processes meet highest standards

We refer to the report (Flawed testing and certification process; Dec 9).

The report said that the sampling method for the certification of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) is "a flawed process".

It is impractical and impossible to ascertain whether every composite panel used for cladding meets the required standards.

Doing so would require us to set each and every panel alight, after which there will be no panels left to install. Sampling is an internationally recognised method of testing.

To minimise the possibility of inconsistent manufacturing quality, we require annual audits of the product to be carried out subsequent to the initial certification.

The report also mentioned that SCDF's requirement, which mandates composite panels used as cladding to meet the fire safety standard of Class "0" when tested only on the core material is "unique to Singapore", and that Singapore imposes a "form of ad-hoc, non-standard testing, which is hard to regulate since labs have no consensus on how to do so".

We would like to point out that other jurisdictions, such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, also adopt the same method of testing on core materials for composite panels used as cladding.

The SCDF is committed to ensuring that there are no compromises to our fire safety standards and processes.

We are working closely with stakeholders to review the fire safety regulations and certification processes relating to the use of composite panels as cladding.

Leslie Williams

(Lieutenant-Colonel)

Senior Assistant Director (Public Affairs Department)

Singapore Civil Defence Force

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2017, with the headline 'SCDF fire safety testing and processes meet highest standards'. Print Edition | Subscribe