Last year, the Singapore Civil Defence Force registered 2,898 instances of fires in our residential areas.
However, there does not seem to be any regulation making it mandatory for HDB residents to have fire extinguishers in their homes. Many estates are also not equipped with easy-to-handle fire control devices, such as those seen in shopping malls and offices.
Dry risers are installed in HDB blocks, but they are for firemen, and HDB residents are not trained to use them.
In fact, there have not been any large-scale effort to instil firefighting survival skills among residents.
Fire outbreaks are often tragic, painful experiences. The damage fires cause to property is not only upsetting but also psychologically traumatic.
In one study, Britain's Fire Industry Association found that some 88 per cent of fires tackled with extinguishers were put out.
Hence, a fire extinguisher in every home should be made mandatory.
Huang Mengran (Ms)