07 Nov

Handling a Rubbish Chute Fire: Safety Measures and Actions to Take

Rubbish chutes in HDB condominiums in Singapore play a vital role in maintaining cleanliness. However, there are instances when these chutes become the source of fires due to the improper disposal of flammable items. In the event of a rubbish chute fire, it is crucial to know the appropriate actions to take. This article provides essential guidelines for residents facing a rubbish chute fire, ensuring their safety and minimizing the potential damage.

  1. Extinguish the Fire:

    If you find yourself confronted with a rubbish chute fire, you can attempt to extinguish it by pouring water down the chute. One method is to fill a plastic bag with water, securely tie it, and drop it into the chute. Alternatively, you can throw a pail of water directly into the rubbish chute. Repeat these steps until you observe that the fire is extinguished, indicated by the absence of smoke in the chute.

  2. Utilize a Fire Extinguisher:

    Having a fire extinguisher in your home is highly recommended. If the fire persists despite your initial efforts, use the fire extinguisher to combat the flames. However, if the fire continues to spread, prioritize your safety and evacuate immediately.

  3. Shut Off the Gas:

    Upon discovering a rubbish chute fire, promptly turn off the gas supply in your home. Additionally, close the door of the affected room to contain the fire.

  4. Call for Emergency Assistance:

    If your attempts to extinguish the fire are unsuccessful, it is crucial to seek professional help. Dial 995 to contact emergency services and provide them with detailed information about the fire, including your address and block building number. Emergency responders will promptly address the situation.

  5. Evacuate the Building:

    In the event of a rubbish chute fire, the safest course of action is to evacuate the building. Use the stairways for evacuation and avoid using elevators, which may pose additional risks.

Preventive Measures:
To minimize the risk of rubbish chute fires, exercise caution when disposing of items. Avoid discarding flammable materials that could ignite within the rubbish chute. By practicing responsible waste disposal, you not only protect yourself but also ensure the safety of your neighbors.

Insurance Coverage:
The Housing Development Board (HDB) provides a master fire insurance policy that covers buildings, including void decks. This policy alleviates concerns about post-fire repair work, providing peace of mind to residents.

In the event of a rubbish chute fire, swift and appropriate action is crucial. By following the steps outlined above, including extinguishing the fire, utilizing a fire extinguisher, shutting off the gas, calling for emergency assistance, and evacuating the building, residents can mitigate the potential risks and ensure their safety. Furthermore, practicing responsible waste disposal and being mindful of flammable items prevents rubbish chute fires from occurring. Remember, the HDB's master fire insurance policy provides coverage for post-fire repairs, offering reassurance to affected residents.

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