Published: 11 September 2017
Mr Chen Show Mao: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what measures are in place to reduce the risk of fires taking place at hawker stalls at cooked food centres.
1. The Fire Code stipulates that hawker centres need to have hose reels and fire extinguishers, and adequate, unimpeded access to facilitate escape in the event of a fire. There are also regulations on the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking, and cleaning requirements for kitchen exhaust ducts.
2. Some common causes of fires at hawker centres are the accumulation of grease within poorly-maintained kitchen exhaust ducts which ignite during the cooking process, stallholders leaving their cooking unattended, and forgetting to switch off appliances at the end of the day.
3. A large number of such fires can be prevented. As part of its Community Emergency Preparedness Programme, SCDF partners NEA to educate stallholders on how to prevent and respond to fire emergencies. SCDF has also implemented mitigating measures to reduce the risk of fires in hawker centres. For instance, SCDF, with HDB and the Town Councils, have worked together to replace all individual LPG cylinders in hawker centres with safer centralised LPG pipeline manifold systems or Town Gas.
4. Hawker centre owners and stallholders have a big part to play. They can prevent fires by thoroughly cleaning their kitchen exhaust ducts at least once a year, not leaving cooking unattended, and switching off all appliances when they leave for the day.