Electrical upgrades to lampposts and switch rooms to improve safety of residents

by Our Neighbourhood
Electrical upgrades to lampposts and switch rooms to improve safety of residents

As part of the Town Council’s efforts to enhance common area electrical maintenance for the safety of our residents, a survey was conducted by a licensed electrical worker (LEW) to check on all the lampposts in our town. As a result, we have added a residual current device (RCD) to each lamppost in our town to prevent electric leakages, which is used to protect people from electrocution. It also can be used to reduce the risk of fire caused by earth faults.

In the first phase of the electrical enhancement works, we have installed RCDs for 3,527 lampposts. To date, seven divisions in our town have completed the RCD installation. In addition, we have replaced missing or damaged lamppost covers that carry a risk of electrocution through direct contact.

Apart from installing RCDs, we have also put in place other forms of safety measures. These include the proper encasement of cables in metal enclosures or conduits to ensure that no live wires would come into direct contact with the public.

For your own safety, the Town Council’s engineer advises residents not to shake or kick the lamppost, as the act might cause a short circuit and current leakage. Also, please do not touch the lamppost or electrical structures around the lamppost after rainfall as the wet surface may carry a risk of electrocution.

In the second phase of the works, we will provide an earthing system in the lampposts to protect residents from electrocution risks. Illegal rerouting of cables that pose a risk of electrocution through direct contact will also be rectified. We will also replace ageing earth fault relays or earth leakage relays in the switch rooms. These help to cut off the electric power supply during an earth fault, which can cause a short circuit in the electrical system. The Phase 2 works are expected to be completed by the end of December. Apart from the above-mentioned works, our property officers also conduct regular estate inspections to ensure that outdoor electrical fittings are properly in place, as well as follow up on defect rectification where required. As part of our routine maintenance, our electrical team is deployed to conduct monthly inspections, daily night inspections of the common area lights, attend to residents’ electrical feedback, and be on standby to attend to emergency matters.

What you need to know about electrical safety and electrical works in your home:

  • Do install a residual current circuit breaker in your home. It can help prevent electric shocks by cutting off the electricity supply when current leakage is detected in an electric circuit.
  • Do engage a licensed electric worker to carry out any electrical installation, maintenance and repair. You can verify if the person you are hiring is an Energy Market Authority-licensed worker by calling 6835-8075 or check online at
  • Do not touch electrical appliances or an electrical switch with wet hands as this can lead to current leakage and potential fatal electric shocks.
  • Do not put multiple plugs into one socket by using double adaptors. Overloading the powerpoint could lead to overheating and fire. It would be best if you also unplug a piece of electronic equipment when it’s not in use.
  • As the electric wiring in your flat has a lifespan of about 25 years, it’s advisable to replace it when its lifespan is over or when its condition has deteriorated. An LEW will be able to check the condition of the wiring and advise on whether the wiring needs to be replaced.
  • An owner of a flat that is not provided with a 40amps main switch will need to apply for a permit from the HDB to install an air-conditioner or higher capacity electrical equipment or appliance. HDB blocks completed on or after January 1, 1994 or have undergone the Main Upgrading Programme/Home Improvement Programme are provided with a 40amps main switch. If you are unsure about your block’s electrical loading, you can use the electrical loading of your HDB block e-service to check.
  • Home owners are also not allowed to embed any wiring (housed in metal/high impact PVC conduit) in the reinforced concrete slab, beam, column, wall, wall plaster or other finishes.
  • You are not allowed to install appliances with an electrical rating exceeding 15amps power in your flat.

For maintenance tips on household electrical accessories and wiring,  do refer to the HDB website for more information: 

*Source: HDB, EMA