Preparing for fire emergencies at hawker centres

by Our Neighbourhood
Preparing for fire emergencies at hawker centres

An overheated wok or an electrical malfunction in the switch room are some of the leading causes of fire accidents at hawker centres. Last year, Newton Food Centre and Telok Blangah hawker centres experienced fire accidents in consecutive months back in February and March 2019.

As hawker centres are one of the favourite dine-out venues for Singaporeans as well as visitors, it’s important to keep fire safety measures in place and educate stall owners on fire prevention and what actions they can take in the event of a fire.

Recently, a tabletop exercise was conducted for stall owners at Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre, located in Clementi Avenue 3, to prepare them for fire accident-related emergencies. Basically, such an exercise is a meeting to discuss a simulated emergency situation. Members typically review and discuss the actions they would take in a particular emergency. They will then proceed to test their emergency plan in an informal, low-stress environment to identify the strengths of their plan and seek out areas of improvement.

In a fire-preparedness exercise like the one held at Clementi Food Centre, the building management, fire safety manager and fire safety committee will attempt to solve perceived or anticipated problems in a given situation or scenario. These will lead to the adoption of correct solutions and procedures.

In the recent exercise, the hawkers and other stakeholders got to learn what measures or steps they need to take to safeguard the building’s fire safety systems against suspicious persons or possible activities of destruction or sabotage. They also learnt how to better manage fire hazards in the building when accidents occur, and how to identify and reduce possible sources of ignition and combustible materials, including waste, at their work sites.

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