Singapore—Just one day after Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that mattresses, ladders, and other things that households normally used were being stored in hose reel cabinets at three Housing Board blocks, the Jurong-Clementi Town Council immediately went into action and cleared these cabinets, also informing residents that they cannot keep their household items there. They also promised to continue with their inspections.

The town council informed residents that the cabinets are not allowed as storage spaces because in an emergency, the presence of these items would prevent people from access to the hose.

On Friday, November 22, Lianhe Wanbao reported that residents had “stuffed” mattresses, full-length mirrors, suitcases, ladders and other items both inside the cabinets at three HDB flats at Clementi Road 1, namely 422 HDB and 423 HDB, as well as the car park of 419 HDB.

Furthermore, the outside of the hose reel cabinet on the 19th story of Block 422 also had paint buckets, chairs, electric fans and pots.

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According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), an inspection of the blocks was carried out by them on Saturday, November 23. The SCDF added that it would investigate the alleged non-compliance and work with the Town Council to ensure that this would not happen again.

According to the article from Lianhe Wanbao, residents from the blocks say they did not have enough space in their flats, which is why they put items inside and outside the cabinets.

The Straits Times (ST) reports a spokesman from the Jurong-Clementi Town Council as saying,

“We will continue our ongoing inspections at these and other blocks, while reminding residents that storing items in fire hose compartments is not advisable.”

This is the second time this month that the Jurong-Clementi Town Council has been in the news. On November 11, The Independent SG reported that the SCDF released a statement and a warning to the TC following reported malfunctioning of water hose reels.

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The SCDF responded to a fire alert at a flat in Bukit Batok on Nov 1.

The fire broke out on the 13th floor of Block 210A Bukit Batok Street 21 at around 4:30 in the morning.

Three people were rushed to Singapore General Hospital to be treated for burn injuries and smoke inhalation. The SCDF extinguished the fire using emergency vehicles. The fire continued for around half an hour before firefighters extinguished it after 5:30 in the morning.

In their statement, the SCDF revealed that several hose reel cabinets were padlocked and the hose reels had no water supply. “Town Councils are responsible for the maintenance and proper functioning of their estates’ fire safety measures,” SCDF said.

They conducted an inspection at the premises and issued the Town Council with a Fire Hazard Abatement Notice due to the non-functioning and padlocked water hose reel.

The Town Council must be responsible for proper compliance. Failure to do so upon the SCDF’s reinspection may warrant a fine or prosecution. -/TISG

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