The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is stepping up its fire safety checks at various commercial premises for the festive period.
In an enforcement operation conducted last Friday (8 December), SCDF officers inspected two shopping malls and five public entertainment outlets. They detected fire safety violations such as non-functioning exit lights, and obstruction to common passageways and exit doors.
Such violations pose fire risks and would impede the safe evacuation of people during an emergency, an SCDF spokesman said in a media release on Tuesday (12 December).
“As the number of patrons and customers is usually higher during the festive season, SCDF would like to remind the owners and management of public buildings and places of recreation/entertainment including hotels and shopping centres to ensure compliance to all fire safety requirements,” the SCDF spokesman added.
Escape passageways should be free of obstruction and fire exit doors should be kept accessible for use during emergencies. Overcrowding in public premises, especially in entertainment outlets such as discotheques and pubs, should also be avoided.
“SCDF takes fire safety violations seriously and will not hesitate to take tough enforcement actions against the offenders,” the SCDF spokesman said.
First-time offenders may be fined up to $5,000. Recalcitrant and repeat offenders can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to six months or both.
Major offences like commencement of fire safety works without plan approval carries a fine of up to $200,000 or a jail term of up to 24 months, or both.