Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on fire safety in HDB blocks

Jul 10, 2018

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for National Development 

a) how is the Ministry addressing the increasing incidents of personal mobility device fires; 

b) what is being done to enhance fire safety measures especially in estates where there are many elderly residents; and 

c) whether the Ministry will consider installing sprinklers in new BTO estates. 


HDB blocks are designed to comply with the prevailing Fire Code when they are built.  All HDB flats are designed as fire compartments, with concrete walls and floors that help to prevent the spread of fire beyond or into the unit.  HDB carries out regular reviews of fire safety in HDB blocks, and has enhanced fire safety provisions for older blocks over the years, such as through providing fire-rated doors to the main entrances of flats, as well as installing rising mains and fire lifts to facilitate fire-fighting.  

Sprinklers are currently provided in certain areas of HDB buildings as required by the Fire Code, such as some basement car parks, as well as some commercial and social communal facilities.   SCDF’s assessment at this point in time is that there is no need to install sprinklers within the residential units.  

At the end of the day, what is most important is fire prevention.  Residents who intend to use personal mobility devices (PMD) should exercise caution by only buying such devices from reputable sources, and avoid overcharging their batteries or tampering with the electrical components.  The Land Transport Authority is also working with relevant stakeholders to study if safety requirements can be imposed on motorised PMDs to mitigate potential fire risks.