All new residential homes, including Housing Board flats, must have smoke detectors installed from the middle of next year.
Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo said yesterday that the move - which will affect all homes that begin construction from June - will provide residents with early alerts to smoke or fires.
"Residents can take steps to quell the fire and prevent it from spreading, or if that is not possible, to quickly evacuate," said Mrs Teo.
The recommended type of smoke detector, which has a built-in battery that lasts a decade, costs around $50 to $80. Cheaper dry-cell versions, which cost $40 or less, need their batteries changed annually.
To provide for needy residents, the Singapore Civil Defence Force, HDB and the People's Association will install the detectors in about 50,000 households in public rental flats for free.
Priority will be given to households with at least one elderly person aged 60 and above.
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