With the passing of the Fire Safety Act 1993 and the Fire Safety (Registered Inspectors) Regulations 1994, an inspection certificate issued by a Registered Inspector (RI) is a prerequisite for the issuance of a Temporary Fire Permit (TFP) or a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) for a building project. Owners are therefore required to engage RIs to inspect and certify their projects before submitting their application for a TFP / FSC to SCDF.
Who is a Registered Inspector (RI)?
A RI is a person who is registered under the Fire Safety Act to be qualified and competent to inspect fire safety works in buildings to ascertain the degree of compliance of fire safety requirements.
Types of RI
- Architectural RI known as RI(A) specialises on architectural / building aspects of fire safety provision. If a Fire Safety Engineer (FSE) is an RI (Architectural), he shall be responsible for both the fire safety works listed in Part I of the First Schedule and the fire safety engineering works of the project.
- Mechanical & Electrical RI known as RI(M & E) specialises on mechanical / electrical aspects of fire safety provision. If a FSE is an RI (M&E), he shall be responsible for both the fire safety works listed in Part II of the First Schedule and the fire safety engineering works of the project.
When Is RI Required?
Registered Inspectors are required for all types of projects which require a Temporary Fire Permit (TFP) / Fire Safety Certificate (FSC); so long as there are fire safety works involved in the project that need to be inspected and certified. Depending on the type of fire safety works carried out for the project, both types of RIs, that is the RI(A) and RI(M & E) may be needed to inspect the project for the issuance of the Temporary Fire Permit / Fire Safety Certificate.
Types of Inspection Certificates
There are 2 types of inspection certificates issued by each of the RI (A) and RI(M & E).
- Inspection Certificate Form 1
The RI's Form 1 indicates that all fire safety works for the project have been fully completed in accordance to the relevant codes' requirements. For such cases, the Fire Safety Certificate will be issued by SCDF.
- Inspection Certificate Form 2
The RI's Form 2 indicates that the fire safety works have been satisfactorily completed for the project but with only minor deviations / non-compliance for which the building will not be rendered unsafe. For such cases, SCDF will consider the issuance of a Temporary Fire Permit for a limited period of time for the applicant to occupy or use the building.
**Note: The RI inspection certificates must be submitted together with the application for TFP / FSC.
Qualified Persons (QPs) for projects are required under the Fire Safety Act to provide the RIs with all relevant documents related to the fire safety works of the project to enable the RIs to assess and inspect the integrity of the fire safety provisions of the project.
RIs are required to notify SCDF of any contravention or non-compliance with the fire safety requirements that are found in the project for which the owner fails or refuses to comply with.
Criteria For Becoming A Registered Inspector
To become a Registered Inspector (RI) for fire safety works, the person:
- must firstly be either a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer.
- must be registered with the Board of Architects or Professional Engineers Board respectively.
- must have at least 10 years experience as a registered architect or professional engineer in the design and installation of fire safety works, including mechanical ventilation systems.
- must also have vast experience in inspecting and testing fire safety works / mechanical ventilation systems in all types of building projects. Only applicants who meet the above requirements are selected by FSSD to attend an interview with the RI Selection Panel. Successful applicants who have made it through the interview are required to attend a short course conducted by SCDF before they are registered as RIs.
Appointment Of RI
You can click on the link to download the list of Registered Inspectors (RIs) (link temporarily unavailable).
**Note: A copy of SCDF form FSC 8 which is for the appointment of the Registered Inspector, must be submitted to SCDF (Fire Safety & Shelter Dept) within 14 days after the RI has been appointed for the project.
The Fire Safety Act 1993 states that the RI must not have any professional or financial interest in the project. A RI is considered to have professional or financial interest in the project if:
He / she is or has been a consultant to the design or construction of the project or, is or was involved in one way or another in the design or construction of the project.
He / she or any of their nominees is a member, employee, etc of a company or other body that has a professional or financial interest in the project.
He / she is a partner or the employee of someone who has a professional or financial interest in the project.
He / she has interest in the project only as a trustee for the benefit of another person.
His / her spouse has a professional or financial interest in the project. Fees chargeable by RIs will depend on such factors as the size, type and complexity of the project and is a matter to be agreed between the owner and the RI.
All RIs are required to abide by the Fire Safety Act, the Registered Inspectors Regulations and the Code of Conduct for RIs. Disciplinary action will be taken by SCDF against the RI who is found to have failed in his / her professional duties as a RI. SCDF conducts random checks on projects. Such checks would reveal the standard of the inspection done by RIs. If SCDF notes any deviations or non-compliance for which the RIs have not pointed out in their inspection certificates, the case will be investigated and disciplinary action taken against the RI if he / she is found faulting.
A RI can be charged in court for an offence under the Fire Safety Act 1993 and the Fire Safety (Registered Inspectors) Regulations 1994. He / she can be fined or imprisoned or subject to both. Disciplinary action taken by SCDF will depend on the severity of the offence and on the record of past offences. Penalties imposed can be in the form of:
- Cancellation of Registration.
- Suspension for a fixed period not exceeding 12 months.
- A composition fine not exceeding $5,000.
- A written reprimand.
Continued Practice as a RI
Projects With Alternative Solution
Projects containing alternative solution, the part of the fire safety has to be inspected by a qualified FSE RI using the alternative solution. His scope of work involves the checking of on-site installation of fire safety engineering works to be in accordance with the approved fire safety plans and to surface irregularities to code requirements to SCDF.
If a FSE is an R I(Architectural), he shall be responsible for both the fire safety works listed in Part I of the First Schedule and the fire safety engineering works of the project.
If a FSE is an R I(M&E), he shall be responsible for both the fire safety works listed in Part II of the First Schedule and the fire safety engineering works of the project.