Image via Flickr user SJFD_CPR
Fire safety is an important aspect of home and workplace safety. A lot of us, especially new home owners, are unaware on the importance of insuring our homes with sufficient fire insurance coverage. Most will probably try to pay as low premium as possible, thinking that such fire cases are unlikely to happen.
A fire can break out anywhere and at any time because of unexpected causes such as a power overload, a short circuit, a kitchen accident or a lightning strike. According to Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), there is a total of 4,724 fires broke out in Singapore last year, 2014. Of this number, 2,888 (61.1%) fires involved residential premises, and 565 cases (12.0%) took place in commercial premises. The remaining 1,271 (26.9%) were non-building places which involved vegetation and vehicles on road. In this year 2015, there are 10 cases of fires outbreak over the past few months, 5 of which involved residential premises.
You can play your part by not discarding items at common area such as corridors, lift lobbies and void decks. Smokers should also take more precaution by making sure cigarette butts are completely extinguished before disposing into rubbish chutes or bins.
Here are more fire safety tips (source from SCDF) for residential premises which we could take precautions:
FIRE SAFETY TIPS – RESIDENTIAL PREMISES
Ø Discarded Items
1. Do not leave unwanted furniture and items at common areas such as corridors, lift lobbies, void decks and staircases.
2. Arrange with your Town Council or Management Office if you require assistance for the disposal of unwanted bulky items such as cupboards, sofas, etc.
3. If you notice discarded items at the common areas, please alert your local Town Council or Management Office.
Ø Rubbish Chutes/Bins
1. Completely extinguish lighted materials e.g. cigarettes and sparklers before disposal into rubbish chutes/bins.
2. Douse charcoal embers with water before disposal into rubbish chutes/bins.
3. Avoid throwing flammable substances like paint, oil or kerosene into rubbish
1. Never leave cooking unattended as it can result in fires; turn off the gas supply and cooking appliances whenever they are not in use.
2. Petrol or kerosene should not be used to start a BBQ fire – they can flare up unexpectedly; use fire-starters instead.
3. Charcoal should be doused with water when cooking is done.
4. Keep cooking appliances including the stove-top, cooker hoods and ovens clean and free of greases.
5. Keep flammable liquids (e.g. cooking oil and wine) and combustible materials away from heat sources such as the stove.
6. Keep LPG cylinders in a well-ventilated area.
Ø Electrical Appliances
1. Never overload electrical outlets with electrical appliances.
2. Always switch off appliances when they are not in use.
3. Check the condition of wires regularly. Frayed wires or cracked cords should be replaced or repaired by licensed electricians.
4. Do not run wires under carpets or mats and keep them away from hot surfaces.
5. Use electrical plugs which carry the SAFETY Mark
1. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of children’s reach.
2. Store flammable substances in a safe place.
3. Do not place window curtains or any combustible materials near praying altars, stoves or lighted materials.
4. After parties or gatherings, check for smouldering cigarette butts around and under the sofa, chair cushions and carpets.
5. Lit candles should also be kept away from paper, curtains and furnishings. They should be placed in stable holders on heat-resistant surface. It is also not advisable to leave candles burning in a room unattended.
Ø Decorations and Lightings
1. Check the decorative lighting fixtures before use. Blown bulbs and frayed wires should be replaced using the service of licensed electricians for repairs, if necessary.
2. Do not leave decorative lighting fixtures switched-on when leaving home or when going to bed. Indoor lighting fixtures should not be used in outdoor area to avoid electric shocks and short circuits.
3. Use decorative lighting fixtures which carry the SAFETY Mark. Similar to electrical appliances such as fans, decorative lighting fixture is also a Controlled Good under the Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Registration Scheme, which is administered by SPRING Singapore.
4. Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily. Do not attach them to lights or other heat source, and always keep them away from candles.
Ø Handling Sparklers
1. Sparklers should be kept in a closed box and away from flames.
2. When being used, it should be lit at arm’s length and only one at a time. Children playing with sparklers must be supervised by parents/adults.
3. Lighted sparklers should never be thrown at combustible materials.
4. When a sparkler goes out, do not immediately touch the hot end for it could still burn; put the hot end in a bucket of water to fully cool it down before disposing it safely.
5. Follow the safety instructions as stated by the manufacturer. These instructions are typically found on the box housing the sparkler.
See more information on scdf.gov.sg