We refer to Mr Gabriel Chia Sit Loke's letter, "Residents must be confident about proper usage of fire extinguishers" (Sept 14).
We agree with Mr Chia that preventing fires is a collective responsibility.
We urge the public to play their part to maintain a safe living environment in their residential premises, and ensure that the means of escape are unobstructed and kept free of clutter, including common areas such as lift lobbies and staircases.
Mr Chia also referred to the trial that Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is embarking on with HDB, town councils and Temasek Foundation to place a fire extinguisher at the lift lobby of every two HDB blocks.
Residents can use these fire extinguishers, besides hose reels, to fight small fires. Residents should, however, fight the fire only if they can do so without endangering themselves and others.
Residents can learn how to use a fire extinguisher and other life-saving skills through SCDF's Community Emergency Preparedness Programme (CEPP). This programme is conducted for free at the four SCDF division headquarters, and covers the use of a fire extinguisher, improvised first aid skills, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
SCDF partners the People's Association to organise Community Resilience Day roadshows in the heartland to teach residents basic life-saving and emergency preparedness skills.
More information on fire safety and other emergency preparedness skills and knowledge is available in the Civil Defence Emergency Handbook.
We also encourage members of the public to register as Community First Responders (CFR) via the myResponder app. First responders can help keep people safe during emergencies, as they can provide immediate assistance before the SCDF arrives.
The public can find out more about the CEPP, the Civil Defence Emergency Handbook and how they can become a CFR at www.scdf.gov.sg
Tan Bang Xiang (Lieutenant-Colonel)
Senior Assistant Director
Corporate Communications Department
Singapore Civil Defence Force