Did you know, there are some 12 fires a day in Singapore? According to the SCDF, there had been 4k odd fires a year. This number had been consistent for the past 10 years. Two thirds of these fires (about 2800) took place in homes, with rubbish chute or bin fires being the most common.
It is time then that the SCDF’s Fire Code be updated. By June 2018, all newly built homes must have smoke detectors installed. Existing home owners
Fire alarms are important. You may think that you would be able to smell the smoke and react, but this is improper assumption. Especially when you are asleep. Studies shown that our sense of smell is lost when sleeping and the smell of smoke will not wake a family in the event of a fire.
In a fire, it is not the fire itself that would kill you. It is the smoke and deadly gases that spread farther and faster than heat. That’s what would kill you. It is a fact that most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not from burns. A majority of fatal fires happen when families are asleep because occupants are unaware of the fire until there is not adequate time to escape.
Many residents in HDBs have the practice of locking their gates. This makes it even more difficult to get out of a noxious environment in the event of a fire. A smoke alarm would give adequate warning to all the inhabitants of a home and provide sufficient warning should the untoward ever happen.
Countries such as Australia have made it mandatory for new and renovated buildings to have smoke alarms. Their is strong evidence that it helps save lives. In the United States, the 2015 death rate for fires in homes with working alarms was less than half that of homes without them.
Fire safety shouldn’t be optional in this day and age, neither should destruction of property and lives from fire be.