Under the Fire Safety Act, anyone who intends to temporarily change the use of an area within a building or an outdoor area for the purpose of holding an event where temporary / makeshift structures are erected is required to apply and obtain an approval from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). The reason for this is to look into the fire safety aspects as a result of the setting up of the temporary structures, to provide for the safety of the public who will attend such events. The aim is to ensure that there is adequate fire safety measures provided for the event.
Therefore, a “Temporary Change of Use” application or commonly known as a Temporary Permit application has to be made to SCDF for approval for events such as:
a. Promotional Activities
b. Stage Shows
d. Trade Fairs
Where temporary structures such as those shown below or similar are erected:
d. Stalls / Kiosks
Please see below for a list of the type of events that are likely to require a “Temporary Change of Use” approval. Since such events are supposed to be temporary in nature, the duration will be limited to at most 2 months.
1. Promotional Activities
2. Stage Shows
- live concerts, circus, games shows, opening ceremonies
3. Trade fairs
- trade fairs, "pasar malam", expositions
- food & funfair, charity events, sporting events, celebratory functions
- art exhibitions, displays
Hazardous and toxic materials are not permitted in the event and so is the use of highly flammable liquids and gases. Multi-storey structures are also not allowed in such events. Covered pedestrian walkways are not recommended for the conduct of events because the free movement of the pedestrians will be obstructed.
Organisers of such outdoor events incorporating fire-based shows / activities or “open- flame” cooking activities or pyrotechnic displays, are required to consult SCDF on the fire safety conditions and obtain separate approval prior to making their application.
In making the applications, site / floor plans showing in colour the event’s location and the layout plans and cross-sectional diagrams of the temporary structures, showing the dimensions, are to be submitted. All plans & drawings (in A4 size) must be sufficiently detailed. A brief description of the event’s activities is also required to enable SCDF to process the applications. Event organizers are required to obtain the approval of the landowner for the conduct of the event prior to making the application to SCDF. The organiser is required to submit the application form Temporary Change of Use (Outdoor Events) for approval together with the landowner’s authorization letter. All applications are to be submitted on per event basis, at least 7 days prior to the commencement of the event. The application fee per event is $55. For on-line application submission, please submit via this website: Online Business Licensing Service (OBLS).
Events requiring an approval from SCDF can be generally categorised into 2 types:
a. Indoor events
b. Outdoor events
Indoor events are held within a building and are to be confined to the designated event spaces for such purposes. These areas are to be protected by an automatic fire fighting sprinkler system. The Fire Safety Manager and the building management are required to oversee the fire safety aspects of any event held at its premises.
The main point to take note are that the building’s fire fighting and fire protection systems such as the sprinklers, hosereels, fire extinguishers, call points, etc shall not be obstructed. The building’s escape passageways and corridors must not be obstructed. In cases where large crowds are expected to attend a particular event, proper crowd control measures are required to be put in place. The use of the building’s covered walkway is not recommended unless there is a minimum 3m wide clear passageway left for the pedestrians. Please refer to the attachment file listed below for the fire safety conditions.
The building management is required to submit the application form Temporary Change of Use (Indoor Events) for approval.
Outdoor events are held in the open areas usually within tents. Outdoor events can be in many different types ranging from the ordinary “pasar malam” event to circus shows. They usually attract large crowds and have a wide variety of sub-events going on concurrently. The tent structures can also take different forms such as the unenclosed type to the fully enclosed air-conditioned type. Since tent set-ups are quite hazardous in terms of fire safety and also because of the large number of people likely to attend outdoor events, the fire safety precautions imposed have to be stringent. The main points to note are that the tents must be sited away from buildings and that there are adequate escape passageways created within them. For enclosed tents, the event organizer is required to station trained personnel to assist in emergency evacuation. Please refer to the attachment file listed below for the fire safety conditions.
- Indoor multi-storey and enclosed structures can only be constructed in purpose-built facilities such as exhibition halls. For such structures, the venue operator will have to ensure that the requirements given in the technical publication, SS539 - "Safety and Operational Management Guidelines for Indoor Exhibitions by SPRING SINGAPORE", are complied with.
Venue operators are required to impose the conditions on the exhibitors and if need be the venue operator may require the event organiser to obtain SCDF’s approval. In such cases the exhibitor or event organiser is required to apply for the SCDF's Temporary Change of Use permit.
- Outdoor multi-storey and enclosed structures for temporary events are considered on a case-to-case basis. Event operators are firstly required to obtain the approval or clearance of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for the erection of such a structure. Thereafter, the application to FSSD for approval is similar to that for an outdoor event. Please refer to the attachment below for the fire safety conditions.
Use of inflatable structures for temporary events are considered on a case-to-case basis. Event operators are firstly required to obtain the approval or clearance of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for the erection of such a structure. Thereafter, the application to FSSD for approval is similar to that for an outdoor event. Please refer to the attachment below for the fire safety conditions.
Application is not required for the following events :
a. If the event is held at any of the following facilities or similar that is purpose-built for holding such events:
(1) Exhibition hall / Convention hall / Multi-purpose hall
(2) Auditorium / Concert hall / Theatre
In such cases, the events have to comply with the conditions issued by the venue operator which in turn are based on the fire safety conditions issued by the SCDF. However, the venue operator may still require the event organiser to obtain SCDF's approval on the fire safety requirements if the need arises.
b. Charity Purposes
(1) SCDF recognises the following categories of charitable purposes:
(a) Relief of poverty;
(b) Advancement of education;
(c) Advancement of religion;
(d) Benefiting the community in terms of the following: Promotion of health Advancement of citizenship or community development
(e) Advancement of arts, heritage or science
(f) Relief of those in need
(g) Advancement of animal welfare
(h) Advancement of sport, where the sport promotes health through physical skill and exertion
(2) Charity organisations shall be registered with the following :
(a) Commissioner of Charities (COC)
(b) Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY)
(c) Institutions Of a Public Character (IPC)
(d) Mutual Benefit Organisations (MBOs)
(e) Co-operative Societies
(f) Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs)
(3) In such charity events, while temporary permits are not required for such events to be carried out, the charity events’ organisers are to comply with a set of fire safety conditions listed under the SCDF's Temporary Change of Use Permit.
c. Other activities that do not require a temporary change of use approval by SCDF are:
(1) Sports events which are held at fields of stadiums, school or clubs.
(2) Religious events, including wedding and funeral.
(3) The erection of temporary advertisement panels / banners. However, clearance from SCDF may be required if the installation of the panels / banners, etc have implications on the fire safety of the building.
Organisers of indoor fire-based performances and demonstrations performed on stages in purpose built facilities such as concert halls, theatres, etc, need not obtain approval from SCDF unless specifically requested by the building owner. For outdoor fire-based performances and demonstrations, the event organiser is required to obtain SCDF's approval on the fire safety requirements. Please refer to the attachment file listed below for the fire safety conditions.
Event organizers who wish to execute fireworks / pyrotechnics are required to engage companies that are exempted under the Dangerous Fireworks (Exemption) Notification for the displays. Please refer to the Dangerous Fireworks (Annual Exemption) Notification issued by Singapore Police Force (SPF) for the list of approved companies. You may also contact SPF as listed below for details.
Police Licensing & Regulatory Department
Police Cantonment Complex
391 New Bridge Road
Blk D #02-701
Tel: 6835 0000
Fax: 6557 3444
These approved companies will provide advice on the type of fireworks / pyrotechnics that can be used, the type of locations / places where it can be discharged and the approved type of functions where such displays can be held.
The company will have to make the application to SPF on behalf the event organizer. The approving authority for the fireworks / pyrotechnic display is the Singapore Police Force. The company will have to ensure compliance with the requirements stipulated in the Exemption Notification for the display.
For enquiries on online submission process, please contact OBLS Helpdesk at 6898 1595 or email at OBLS@spring.gov.sg.
For request on the application approval letters, please contact the following staff for assistance.
a. General Line : 68481439 or
b. Mr. Harry Nizar at 68481426 (Harry_Nizar@scdf.gov.sg)
c. Mr. Hafiz Aspin at 68481427 (Hafiz_Aspin@scdf.gov.sg)