View of HDB flats in Toa Payoh

This comes after a firefighting vehicle was unable to access The Peak @ Toa Payoh after a fire had broken out at the HDB flat in August.

Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates without emergency entry and exit point signages will soon have such signs, reported The Straits Times.

This comes after a firefighting vehicle was unable to access The Peak @ Toa Payoh after a fire had broken out at the HDB flat in August. The vehicle had accidentally entered via a designated exit point, which did not have adequate turning radius and clearance. As the estate was built in 2012, it did not have entry and exit signages, since the Fire Code mandating this was only updated in 2018.   

The early morning fire on 29 August at Block 138C, Lorong 1A Toa Payoh saw three people taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and burn injuries. Around 300 people were also evacuated.

The fire involved contents in a unit on the 20th floor, and spread to the 21st floor.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) revealed that the other 10 vehicles deployed to respond to the fire reached the scene without any difficulty via the designated emergency vehicle entrance.

SCDF shared that it is working with the HDB to place signages for designated entry and exit points at The Peak as well as other HDB developments that do not have yet such signages.

SCDF further revealed that the block’s wet riser was not functioning during the fire.

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“As a general practice, SCDF simultaneously deploys the use of hose reels and water jets (connected to wet risers) in firefighting operations,” it said as quoted by The Straits Times.

With the wet riser malfunctioning, SCDF explained that its firefighters “effectively extinguished” the fire using hose reels.

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While SCDF had ordered the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council to fix the issue on the block’s wet riser, it will still investigate the cause of malfunction and “take further enforcement action against the responsible parties where necessary”.

Meanwhile, the town council said the wet riser system was inspected by its fire protection contractor after the 29 August fire, and found them to be “working fine”.

In fact, the wet riser system was last checked by the contractors three days before the fire on 26 August, and was found to be “in order”.

With this, an engineer had been engaged by the town council to investigate why the wet riser “had no water” during the fire.


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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email