Published: 15 February 2022
Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the past three years, what is the number of fires in condominiums caused by discarded cigarette butts; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider working with NEA and the condominiums’ MCSTs to install surveillance cameras to catch offenders.
Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law:
1. The number of fires in condominiums caused by discarded cigarette butts has remained low in the past 3 years. There were 5, 4 and 4 such fires in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.
2. The National Environment Agency takes enforcement action against littering in public places. Many condominiums have also put in place by-laws to prohibit littering within their estate. The Management Corporation Strata Title (MCSTs) may also take steps to pass a special resolution to install surveillance cameras in the common areas of their estate.
3. The Penal Code was amended in 2020 such that should a fire occur within 60 minutes in the vicinity of a place where a person had illegally disposed of a cigarette butt, the person would be presumed to have caused or substantially contributed to the risk of a dangerous fire. Depending on the damage or hurt caused by such a fire, the penalties for this offence include imprisonment of up to 7 years, a fine, or both.
4. The Singapore Civil Defence Force also works with Neighbourhood Committees and condominiums’ MCST to raise fire safety awareness among the residents.