NUISANCE FROM FALSE ALARMS EMITTED BY HOME FIRE ALARM DEVICES IN UNOCCUPIED PUBLIC RENTAL FLATS

Murali Pillai
2 min readNov 23, 2023

During my estate walkabout, I received feedback from residents concerning Home Fire Alarm Devices (“HFAD”) installed in our public rental flats emitting false alarms. Some of the rental flats are even unoccupied. I therefore filed a PQ asking about the number of false alarms in public rental flats over the past three years. I also sought what measures are put in place to stop the nuisance arising from these false alarms. My PQ and Minister Shanmugam’s response are set out below.

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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in each of the past three years, what is the number of false alarms emitted by the Home Fire Alarm Devices (HFAD) that are installed in public rental flats; (b) what measures has HDB put in place to ensure that false alarms triggered by HFAD in unoccupied rental flats are attended to as soon as possible; and © what measures will be taken to reduce the number of such incidents of nuisance.

Mr K Shanmugam: The SCDF does not track the number of false alarms triggered by HFADs. HDB only tracks HFAD false alarms that occur at unoccupied public rental flats. In the past three years, HDB has been alerted to seven such cases. In these cases, HDB would promptly arrange for a contractor to gain access into the flat to reset the HFAD.

For false alarms triggered in occupied rental flats, HDB would contact the tenant as soon as possible, so that the tenant can reset the HFAD, or allow a contractor to access the flat to reset the HFAD.

To minimise false alarms, homeowners are encouraged to regularly test their HFADs and maintain them according to the HFAD manufacturers’ guidelines. HFAD testing can be done by pressing the ‘Test’ button on the device. Owners of HFADs should contact their HFAD supplier if they suspect their HFADs to be faulty. Residents in HDB public rental flats who encounter such issues can contact the HFAD supplier, HDB, or SCDF.

For public rental flats that are returned to HDB, HDB will check that the HFADs are working, as part of sprucing works before handing over the flat to the next tenant.

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Murali Pillai

Member of Parliament, Bukit Batok SMC, Advisor to Bukit Batok SMC GROs.