Friday, 18 January 2013
Revised Fire Code Takes Care of Persons with Disabilities
The revised edition of the Fire Code, which is into its 7th edition, was recently introduced on 15 January 2013. A 6-month grace period was given to the building industry to plan ahead for any new building projects. Building projects that are submitted to SCDF for approval from 15 July 2013 will be subjected to the new code.
An example of a new addition to the Fire Code is the provision of visual alarm in the form of a strobe or flashing light device at designated locations in non-residential buildings. This will help to alert the hearing impaired during emergencies. Other previously introduced fire safety requirements to facilitate the evacuation of persons with disabilities in non-residential buildings are:
- Provision of up to 2 designated holding points within buildings. Holding points provide a temporary safe space for persons with disabilities to await for further assistance during an emergency.
- Suitable means of communication, in the form of a distress button or voice communication device, should also be provided between the holding point and the Fire Command Centre within the building. This will allow persons with disabilities a means to call for assistance during a fire emergency.
- For buildings with lifts, one lift is required to be designated for use by CERT personnel or fire fighters to assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities during emergencies.
Chaired by SCDF, the Fire Code is reviewed by the Fire Code Review Committee comprising representatives from the building industry, government agencies and academic institutions. The Fire Code is designed to support the local building industry’s practices, experiences and the architectural heritage of Singapore. As part of the review process, feedback was also gathered through SCDF’s consultation sessions, seminars and workshops with the industry. The feedback was beneficial in the formulation of the latest fire safety requirements.
An electronic version of the Fire Code is available on SCDF’s website at www.scdf.gov.sg. Hardcopies of the Fire Code are also available and can be purchased at SCDF headquarters.
 Fire safety standards for buildings in Singapore is governed by the Code of Practice for Fire Precautions in Buildings or better known as the Fire Code. The Fire Code serves as an authoritative source on fire safety standards for local buildings and is used by the building industry in designing fire safety works in buildings.
 Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) consists of in-house personnel trained to effectively manage and handle fire & other workplace emergencies prior to SCDF arrival.