MCSTs responsible for fire safety measures in condominiums: Sun Xueling

MCSTs responsible for fire safety measures in condominiums: Sun Xueling

Sun Xueling Parliament Feb 3 2020
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Sun Xueling speaking in Parliament on Feb 3, 2020.

SINGAPORE: Management Corporation Strate Titles (MCSTs) are responsible for ensuring that all fire safety measures – including fire hose reels – in condominiums are functional, said Home Affairs Senior Parliamentary Secretary Sun Xueling.

This is under the Fire Safety Act, she said in Parliament on Monday (Feb 3).

For condominiums with higher fire safety risks - such as those with more than 24m of habitable height and certain fire protection systems requirements - MCSTs are required to appoint professional engineers to audit the fire safety measures as part of the annual renewal of the building’s fire certificate.

However, MCSTs are still responsible if any fire safety measure is found to be non-functional, said Ms Sun.

“Simply hiring a third party to inspect the fire safety measures does not absolve the MCST from liabilities,” she said.

She added that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) also conducts inspections in response to feedback.

READ: Bukit Batok fire: Hose reels did not have water supply because pump switch was in wrong mode

Last November, SCDF firefighters were unable to use the hose reels at Block 120A Bukit Batok Street 21 during a fire. The hose reel boxes were padlocked and there was no water supply to the hose reels.

Investigations by the Jurong-Clementi Town Council showed that the contractor responsible for maintaining the hose reels had been negligent in ensuring that a selector switch in the pump room was in the correct mode.

READ: Fire hose reels at Bukit Batok block were padlocked to prevent vandalism: Town council

Signed statements by the company that the hose reels were in working condition were also incorrect, added the town council.

In a supplementary question, Fengshan Member of Parliament (MP) Cheryl Chan noted that MCSTs are staffed by volunteers who do not have professional expertise to know whether inspections are carried out thoroughly and accurately.

Ms Sun said that SCDF will issue a Fire Hazard Abatement Notice to MCSTs if they are found to be in violation of fire safety measures. There will only be an offence when MCSTs do not rectify faults outlined in the Fire Hazard Abatement Notice.

Source: CNA/cc(aj)

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