Where the fire? Nowhere? Let's keep it that way.
It’s easy to be complacent about fire safety in Singapore because of how humid it is (so, so humid) and the fact that most houses are new and made of concrete instead of wood. But accidents can happen, especially when gas is involved, and it never hurts to make sure your house is extra safe by child-proofing it. Other than having a first aid kit on hand to treat burns, we’ll walk you through getting prepared in case of a fire.
Most fire can be prevented through proper care of electrical appliances: don’t overcharge sockets, don’t leave batteries charging overnight – definitely don’t leave it near anything flammable. Always get your wiring done by licensed electrical workers (LEW) to make sure your appliances aren’t liable to burst into flames at the drop of a hat because of shoddy wiring. Finally, make sure everyone knows where to go in case of a fire and refer to the SCDF fire safety quiz to make sure your home is secure.
Not everyone likes a wake-up call, but better to wake up to smoke than a fire. They’re battery-operated and easy to install. Install them in the kitchen and bedrooms or where there are fire hazards. Make sure they’re fully functional by dusting and testing them once a month.
OLEE Wireless Smoke Detector OL-2588, HORME, $35.90, 1 Ubi Crescent #01-01, Number One Building, Singapore 408563, p. 6840 8855, www.horme.com.sg
Fire is classed into different types but you’re probably more likely to encounter the following types: ordinary combustibles (Class A), flammable liquids (Class B), gas fires (Class C), electrical fires (Class E) and oil and grease fires (Class F). If it’s possible to fight the fire, SCDF says do so only if you’re able to without endangering yourself and others.
Water might work on paper, wood and fabrics, but not oil. Fire extinguishers are your best bet for grease and electrical fires. Just remember P.A.S.S. – pull the safety pin, aim the nozzle at the source of the fire, squeeze the handle slowly and sweep across the fire until it’s completely put out. ABC powder extinguishers are best for home use as they’re effective against most fires including electrical and grease fires and having a 1kg powder extinguisher on hand would definitely be enough to put your mind at ease.
VERT Fire Extinguisher, VERT Solution LLP, price starts at $40 for 1kg, p. 6226 1370, e. [email protected]; www.vertsolutions.com.sg
You could opt for something cheaper and more portable like Mr Fire X, a mini fire extinguishing spray. This 250ml can releases an expanding foam that can be used to combat most fires, including electrical and grease fires. It’s easy to use, easy to clean up and non-toxic.
Mr Fire X, $18, 33 Ubi Avenue 3, Vertex #02-18, Singapore 408868, p. 6802 1265; www.mrfirex.com
Fire blankets are a must-have for kitchens. They’re reusable and you can throw it over a grease fire or wrapping it around your body to put out your clothes.
Emergency.sg, $28, Da Jin Factory Building #07-13A , 362 Upper Paya Lebar Rd, Singapore 534963, p. 6484 3863, www.emergency.sg
Want to get the complete package? Here are a few kits that contain all the essentials:
Home Fire Safety Value Pack
2kg ABC Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher; Smoke Detector; Fire Blanket (1.2m x 1.8m; grease fires)
Fire Extinguisher Singapore, $120, p. 8500 9210; www.fireextinguisher.com.sg
Home Fire Safety Kit Singapore
2kg ABC Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher; Smoke Detector; Fire Blanket (1.8m by 1.8m; Class A and B)
Fire Safety SG, $123, Jalan Boon Lay, p. 9456 5072; www.firesafetysg.com
3-in-1 Fire Safety Kit
1kg ABC Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher; Smoke Detector; Fire Blanket (1.2m x 1.2m; grease fires)
Falcon System Engineering (S) Pte. Ltd., $128, 14 Woodlands Walk, Singapore 738394, p. 6757 4350, www.falconfire.com.sg
Make sure every adult in the home knows here this equipment is stored in your home, and that everyone, including your kids, knows the safest way to exit the home in case of a fire.
Escaping the fire
If the fire persists, don’t try to fight it and dial the fire department at 995 . Try to close the door to contain the fire and turn off the gas mains if you can. Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth and avoid inhaling through the mouth, keep close to the ground and evacuate. Do not use the lift. Finally, remember the age-old adage: In case of emergency, break glass.