In Conversation with ‘TSO Tan Chew Sia’ (with a short video clip)

August 15, 2019

Meet the man who spent 40 years of his career ensuring that your home, office, and even the shopping mall you go to are safe from potential fire hazard.

He is none other than TSO Mr Tan Chiew Sia, a former Senior Fire Safety Consultant. He provided fire safety consultation to building professionals during his illustrious career with the Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD) at the Singapore Civil Defence Forces (SCDF).

At work, Mr Tan conducted fire risk assessments to assist his clients to take proper steps to comply with the safety requirements in the Fire Code. Moreover, his consultation extended to members of the public keeping them aware and informed of their fire safety. Now retired, Mr Tan has certainly come a long way in his career with the SCDF.

It all began in 1973 when Mr Tan started his career as a technician at the Public Work Development (PWD). It was a job position he successfully applied for after his National Service.

On 1 February 1985, Mr Tan along with 42 other colleagues in PWD was taken by surprise when they were notified of their secondment to the Fire Safety Bureau at the then Singapore Fire Service (SFS), which later merged with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

As a Fire Safety Inspector, Mr Tan and his colleagues were tasked to oversee all fire safety related plans and approvals, as well as fire safety inspections of large buildings and infrastructures.

Since his days with the SFS, he had to work with professionals such as architects to verify completed building plans to ensure that fire safety protocols were adhered to. Once all fire safety protocols were in order, Mr Tan would issue a fire safety certificate to the client certifying the building to be safe for occupation.

In the video below, Mr Tan shares with us his work experience as a fire safety inspector with the FSSD.


Here are some pictures of Mr Tan and his colleagues during his early days in the Singapore Fire Service, now known as the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

TSO Tan Chiew Sia (Old Photos)

Top Left: Mr Tan Chiew Sia (facing the camera) at a meeting with Architect/Engineer at old office at Paterson Road

Bottom Left: Mr Tan Chiew Sia (front row, second from left) in his office in PWD at National Development Building during the early days

Right: Mr Tan Chiew Sia (third from left) and his colleagues on a fire safety inspection at roof top of Raffles City Building

 Tan Chiew Sia's farewell session