We refer to Mr Steven Lo Chock Fei's letter (Still in the dark about emergency lighting in HDB blocks; Nov 2).
All Housing Board blocks have to meet the Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) fire code requirements which are prevailing at the time that they are built.
Where required by SCDF, HDB will incorporate the latest fire safety provisions when the building undergoes major upgrading works.
"Major upgrading works" refers to building works that involve extensive additions and alterations to the existing structure.
In such a situation, SCDF requires the building's fire safety provisions to be reviewed to ensure that they comply with the latest fire code requirements.
HDB's upgrading programmes that involve the construction of new lift shaft structures, for example, are considered major upgrading works. In this instance, emergency lights will be provided at the staircases adjoining the lobbies of these new lift shafts.
Improvement works under the Home Improvement Programme, on the other hand, are confined to individual residential units. SCDF does not classify them as "major upgrading works" and emergency lights are not added to the common areas of HDB blocks.
Tan Hwee Yong (Ms)
Director (Project Development & Management)
Housing and Development Board