Public shelters refer to those shelters which have been constructed (whether before or after the enactment of the legislation) in accordance with regulations / specifications issued by SCDF and in which members of the public may take refuge during an emergency. Public shelters found in Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) North-South Line (NSL) /East-West Line (EWL)/ North-East Line (NEL)/Circle Line (CCL) stations, schools and community centres / clubs, would be more appropriately used by those in transit (eg. travelling in the MRT), passers-by and those who have to perform emergency roles in these schools and community centres / clubs.
For the public in general, when the need arises, SCDF will implement public education measures on the sheltering methods and procedures. Essentially, the public will be advised to stay at home, keep calm and seek protection at home.
Public shelters are incorporated in underground MRT stations to provide protection for the population in times of Emergency. There are 33 underground MRT stations which are hardened to double-up as public shelters. They are:
The size of the average MRT shelter ranges from 2400 m2 to 3200 m2 and they are able to accommodate about 6,000 to 8,000 shelterees. The larger MRT shelters range from 6,400 m2 to 7,600 m2 and can accommodate 16,000 to 19,000 shelterees. MRT shelters are designed with facilities to ensure the shelter environment is tolerable for all shelterees during shelter occupation. These facilities include protective blast doors, decontamination facilities, ventilation system, power and water supply systems and dry toilet system etc.
The HDB public shelters are located in the basements or at the void-decks of certain HDB residential apartment blocks.
Basement air-rifle ranges of many new secondary schools are hardened as shelters.
Public shelters are found in certain community centres / clubs. Shelters here are generally used by the centres / clubs themselves for their own peacetime purpose.
Other public developments also have public shelters. Examples of their peacetime uses include basement carpark, training activity room and workshop.