The Importance of Smoke Detectors in Singapore Homes: Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Posted on8 Months ago by

In Singapore, home safety is a paramount concern. To ensure home safety, one crucial aspect is the prevention of fires, and this can be achieved by installing smoke detectors. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or have an existing residence, knowing the key factors to consider before purchasing a smoke detector is crucial. 

Here, we'll discuss the importance of smoke detectors in Singapore homes and how you can ensure safety and compliance.

Are smoke detectors required in Singapore?

To quote the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), “The installation of a home fire alarm detector (HFAD) is mandatory for new residential premises, as well as existing residential premises carrying out fire safety works, with plans submitted by Qualified Persons to SCDF (or to any other government agencies e.g., BCA, HDB) on or after 1 June 2018.” .

Although it is not required, existing homeowners with residential properties that lack fire safety improvements, especially those with vulnerable occupants such as the elderly, young children, and people with disabilities, are highly recommended to install HFADs for their safety.

In short, smoke detectors are only required for residential properties that are newly built or being renovated but are strongly recommended for existing residential properties to ensure the well-being of residents and the safety of their properties. .

SCDF requires that HFADs have smoke detection technology or multi-sensor detectors if they are to be installed.

The smoke detector must also have the following features:

Additionally, the detector must be powered by a long-life built-in battery, typically, lithium that can last for ten years to prevent it from running out of power. .

The design of these smoke detectors should also adhere to EN 14604, AS 3786, or UL 217 standards. If multiple HFADs are installed, they must be interconnected and certified by accredited bodies like UL or BSI. For more details, you can find them here.

Types of Smoke Detectors for Singapore Homes

There are three main types of smoke detectors available in the market today. They are ionisation, photoelectric and a combination of the two, commonly known as dual-sensor detectors..

 

Ionisation smoke detectors are effective at detecting fast-flaming fires; they can easily detect small particles from fast and flaming fires. Photoelectric smoke detectors, on the other hand, are better at sensing large particles from slow, smouldering fires. Dual-sensor detectors combine the technology from the previous two types, offering maximum protection during a house fire.

However, ionisation smoke detectors are more prone to false smoke alarms since they can be triggered easily by small particles emitted from open flames, particularly if you’re cooking frequently in your kitchen. If your kitchen is frequently used, it is best to use a photoelectric smoke detector such as our Loxone Smoke Detector Air. Moreover, most residential fires in Singapore are caused by devices or electrical appliances, which usually produce much smoke before turning into an open (smouldering) fire. Hence photoelectric smoke detectors are more commonly used because they quickly detect smoke from burning fabric or furniture.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Smoke Detectors

With so many smoke detectors on the market, how do you choose the right one for your home? Here are some key considerations to help you decide – after all, the safety of your home is paramount, so it's essential to know what to look for when shopping for one.

Features

Do you need a smoke detector with certain features? For example, are you looking for a smoke that can double up as a carbon monoxide detector or a night light? While having additional features in your smoke detector helps maximise its cost, we recommend you prioritise its ability to detect smoke effectively. After all, detecting smoke is its main purpose.

Reliability

Reliability is paramount, as a smoke detector must detect smoke or fire accurately and consistently. It must be capable of detecting smoke particles at an early stage, even before visible flames occur. Choose devices that offer enhanced sensitivity to ensure early detection and timely alerts. For example, our Smoke Detector Air reliably detects smoke with its professional smoke measuring system before issuing a warning in emergencies and considers temperature fluctuations.

Our independent smoke alarms feature a loud siren and flashing LED, and they function even during power outages. So, look for devices that undergo rigorous testing and have a proven track record of reliability.

Battery Life

As highlighted previously, the battery life of a smoke detector is crucial to its effectiveness, and the SCDF recommends using batteries that can last up to ten years. When choosing a smoke detector, look out for the type of battery it uses, whether it is hardwired or rechargeable. Our Loxone Smoke Detector Air has a long-life battery monitored continuously by our Miniserver, which will notify you when the battery is running low so you can replace it.

Ease of installation & maintenance

Choose smoke detectors that are easy to install and maintain. It is also important to test your device regularly to ensure it is working. Some devices offer self-testing features, reducing the hassle of manual checks. Regular maintenance and battery replacement help ensure the smoke detectors function optimally.

Connectivity

Connectivity options are becoming increasingly important in smart homes. If you are a new homeowner, consider smoke detectors that can be integrated into your existing smart home setup for added convenience. Connected smoke detectors allow for remote monitoring, smartphone alerts, and integration with other safety systems. Loxone’s smoke detector system can be linked with other smart home devices, such as lighting control and security systems enabling a comprehensive safety network for your home.

In conclusion, as responsible homeowners, you should prioritise the safety of your residences and loved ones. A recent article in the Straits Times on 10 Jan 2023 indicated that while residential fires have decreased since 2018 when HFADs became mandatory for new homes, electrical fires have remained constant, averaging around 250-300 cases annually. We can certainly do better to reduce these figures. In most cases, it boils down to personal responsibility and awareness.

 When you place your home's safety first, you can avoid devastating consequences, sometimes fatalities, caused by residential fires. Investing in a smoke detector system like Loxone's, compliant with Singapore's safety standards, can provide comprehensive safety features, early detection, and peace of mind.

A reliable smoke detector system is a small, but significant step towards safeguarding your home and loved ones – invest in safety, ensure a secure living environment, and keep your loved ones safe.

Article references and links:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/smoke-detectors-mandatory-in-all-new-homes-from-june-2018-existing-homeowners-also-urged

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/house-fire-what-do-prevention-tips-extinguisher-alarm-2490176

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/drop-in-residential-fires-over-past-5-years-number-of-electrical-fires-in-homes-remained-steady

https://www.scdf.gov.sg/home/fire-safety/home-fire-alarm-device-(hfad)#:~:text=It%20is%20not%20mandatory%20to,a%2010%2Dyear%20life%20span.

Loxone Smoke Detector

https://www.loxone.com/enen/kb/smoke-detector-air/

https://www.99.co/singapore/insider/fire-injuries-fatalities-hdb-estates/.

https://shop.loxone.com/enen/smoke-detector-air.html

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/9z958EEwNaI
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