Do not fall prey to dubious fire safety companies

With a string of fire incidents happening both within and outside of Singapore, the general public is understandably concerned and is on the lookout for reliable solutions that can offer the necessary fire protection.

Unfortunately, this has given rise to dubious fire safety companies preying on the fears and insecurities of business operators and homeowners to advance their own selfish gains.

For those who still do not know about the scam that has emerged recently, there have been cases of people impersonating SCDF’s personnel and misrepresenting SCDF’s policy.

How to spot these dubious sellers:

  1. They will try to hard-sell you fire safety equipment.
  2. They will force you to believe non-existence policy (e.g. threatening to issue fines if you do not buy their products.)
  3. They will try to trick you into thinking they are authorized by SCDF.

A business owner at Bali Lane shared her experience on Facebook, after encountering personnel from one such shady vendor.

In her post, she mentioned that they tried to hard-sell her fire extinguishers and told her that it is SCDF’s regulation to have a fire extinguisher in the office. They then inspected the fire extinguisher in their office and mentioned that the hose reel in their office also has to be serviced. Next, they demanded an immediate payment of $218 for servicing which they claimed to be mandatory.

However, she suspected something was wrong and refused to go through with it. After the incident, her landlord informed her of what confirmed her suspicion.

Facebook user sharing her experience with a dubious fire equipment company.

4. XXX will not be held responsible for any misconceptions that may arise from its company’s identity.

Above image was taken by the business owner herself, which highlighted a suspicious disclaimer from the company’s invoice obtained from her neighbour.

Prevent yourself from becoming victims of these con men by knowing the following requirements as required by the Authorities for commercial premises.

  1. When carrying out renovation works for commercial property, engage a Professional Engineer (PE) to carry out proper statutory submission to SCDF for approval of your addition and alteration (A&A) works to your premises. In this submission, all building works as well as fire protection systems will be designed by the PE to meet latest SCDF’s requirements. This includes fire extinguishers and fire hose reels as in the highlighted case study above.
  2. Upon completion of your reno work, ensure that your QP arrange for SCDF’s Registered Inspectors (RI) to inspect your premises to certify that your premises have been renovated according to your submitted plans and comply with all fire protection’s requirements as per the Notice of Approval as issued by SCDF.
  3. When the RIs confirmed that everything is in order, they will issue their Inspection Certificates and your PE will proceed to apply for SCDF to issue FIRE CERTIFICATE to confirm that you have met all fire protection requirements for your A&A works.
  4. Carry out routine servicing of any fire alarm system according to the requirements as stated in Singapore Standards Code of Practice and all fire extinguishers have to be serviced and revalidated once a year by an SCDF’s licensed fire extinguisher contractor.

For Private Residential Homes, it is currently not mandatory to be installed with portable fire extinguishers within the premises. However, you are encouraged to own a fire extinguisher for any eventualities of a small fire outbreak which is of manageable size.

If you ever receive a visit from anyone who claims to be SCDF personnel, they are required to show credentials and wear attire/uniforms as mentioned in SCDF’s Facebook post below.

If you are unsure of their purpose of visit, request for their contact numbers and ask them to return on another occasion after you have verified their credibility by contacting the relevant authority to confirm. Usually, any visit by SCDF is pre arranged by written request and sent by mail.

ALERT ON UNAUTHORISED BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND IMPERSONATION OF SCDF OFFICERThe Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)…

Posted by Singapore Civil Defence Force on Monday, July 25, 2016

Please lodge a police report for cases involving the impersonation of SCDF officers or unauthorised business activities, if you ever experience one.

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