Fire Safety Act
(CHAPTER 109A)

(Original Enactment: Act 39 of 1993)

REVISED EDITION 2000
(30th December 2000)
An Act to make provisions for fire safety and for matters connected therewith.
[8th April 1994 (except Part VI, sections 60 and 62);
29th April 1994: Part VI, sections 60 and 62 ]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Fire Safety Act.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“alternative solution”, in relation to any fire safety works, means an engineering solution for the fire safety works to satisfy any fire performance requirements in the Fire Code, being a solution that is based on —
(a)a deterministic or probabilistic analysis of fire scenarios or both types of analysis; or
(b)a quantitative or qualitative assessment of design alternatives or both against the fire performance requirements in the Fire Code,
using engineering tools, methodologies and performance criteria as may be acceptable to the Commissioner, but does not include engineered smoke control systems where the usage and design are in accordance with the Fire Code;
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
“authorised officer”, in relation to any power conferred or duties imposed on the Commissioner by or under this Act, means a person authorised under section 3 to exercise that power or to carry out that duty;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“building” has the same meaning as in the Building Control Act (Cap. 29);
“building works” has the same meaning as in the Building Control Act;
“class of petroleum” means any petroleum prescribed to be a class of petroleum for the purposes of this Act;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Civil Defence appointed under section 6 of the Civil Defence Act (Cap. 42);
“Fire Code” means the Code of Practice for Fire Precautions in Buildings published by the Commissioner as amended or remade from time to time, and includes any code, standard, rule, specification or provision adopted under section 55;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“fire forensic specialist” means an individual who is appointed under section 8E as a fire forensic specialist;
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
“fire hazard” means any matter or circumstance which materially increases the likelihood of fire or the danger to life or property that would result from the outbreak of fire and includes —
(a)any alteration to any building in contravention of any law relating to building works or fire safety works such as might render escape in the event of fire more difficult;
(b)the overcrowding of any public building or any building used occasionally or regularly for public worship or religious ceremonies such as might render escape in the event of fire more difficult;
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
(c)any removal from any building of any fire safety measure which was provided in such building in accordance with plans approved by the Commissioner under section 23;
(d)the presence in any building of any fire safety measure which from lack of proper maintenance or for any other reason is not in efficient working order;
(e)the obstruction of escape routes, passageways, common property or limited common property of any building such as might render escape in the event of fire more difficult; and
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
(f)any other matter or circumstance which would materially hamper the Force in the discharge of its duties in the event of fire;
“fire hazard abatement notice” means a notice in writing issued by the Commissioner under section 13(1);
“fire performance requirements” means the objectives specified in the Fire Code in respect of fire safety works;
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
“fire protection system” includes any installation, equipment or works manufactured, used or designed to be used for the purposes of —
(a)extinguishing, attacking, preventing or limiting a fire and its by-product; or
(b)giving warning of a fire;
“fire protection works” means the provision, extension or alteration of any fire protection system;
“fire safety engineer” means a person who is registered as a fire safety engineer under this Act;
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
“fire safety measures” includes any installation, equipment or works manufactured, used or designed to be used for the purposes of —
(a)extinguishing, attacking, preventing or limiting a fire and controlling the spread of smoke resulting from the fire;
(b)giving warning of a fire;
(c)providing access to any premises or place for the purpose of extinguishing, attacking, preventing or limiting a fire;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(d)providing means of escape; or
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(e)providing a means of communication to facilitate fire-fighting operations or the evacuation of persons in the event of fire;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“fire safety works” means any fire protection works, fire safety measures, relevant pipeline works or minor works;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“flammable material” means any substance prescribed to be a flammable material for the purposes of this Act;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“Force” has the same meaning as in the Civil Defence Act (Cap. 42);
“member” has the same meaning as in the Civil Defence Act and includes any public officer serving in the Force as engineering or technical staff;
“minor works” means —
(a)the addition, alteration or repair of a building that involves the use of combustible materials or that affects the means of escape or the effectiveness of fire safety measures; or
(b)the provision, extension or alteration of any air-conditioning service or ventilating system in or in connection with a building;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“occupier”, in relation to any premises, means the person in occupation of the premises or having the charge, management or control thereof and, in relation to any part of any premises different parts of which are occupied by different persons, means the person in occupation or having the charge, management or control of that part;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“officer” has the same meaning as in the Civil Defence Act (Cap. 42) and includes any public officer serving in the Force as engineering or technical officer;
“owner”  —
(a)in relation to any premises, includes any mortgagee in possession and any person for the time being receiving the rent of the premises whether on his own account or as agent or trustee or as receiver, or who would receive the same if the premises were let to a tenant, and any person whose name is entered in the Valuation List prepared under section 10 of the Property Tax Act (Cap. 254) as the owner of the premises;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(b)in relation to the common property of any building erected on land comprised in a strata subdivision plan approved by the competent authority, means the management corporation having control of the building;
(ba)in relation to the limited common property of any building erected on land comprised in a strata subdivision plan approved by the competent authority, means the subsidiary management corporation having control of that limited common property;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
(c)in respect of any fire safety measure, includes the occupier or the owner of the premises in or on which the fire safety measure is installed or kept;
(d)in relation to an aircraft or a vessel, includes the charterer of the aircraft or vessel, as the case may be; and
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(e)in relation to a vehicle, means the registered owner of the vehicle;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“peer reviewer” means a fire safety engineer who is appointed to review and assess whether any alternative solution in plans for any fire safety works that is prepared or proposed by another person satisfies any fire performance requirements;
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
“petroleum” includes crude petroleum, liquefied petroleum gas and other naturally occurring hydrocarbon liquid derived from crude petroleum, coal, shale, peat or other bituminous substances;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“pipeline” includes any section of a pipeline;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“pipeline owner”, in relation to any section of a relevant pipeline, means —
(a)if the section of the relevant pipeline is entirely or partially on a piperack or pipetrack, the person who owns or leases, and has management and control, of the piperack or pipetrack; or
[Act 31 of 2016 wef 01/02/2017]
(b)if the entire section of the relevant pipeline is not on a piperack or pipetrack, a person who owns or leases that section of the relevant pipeline and uses that section of the relevant pipeline for the conveyance of any class of petroleum or any flammable material;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
[Act 31 of 2016 wef 01/02/2017]
“piperack” means a multi-tiered rack supporting one or more pipelines above the ground;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“pipetrack” means an area where one or more pipelines are supported on sleepers on the ground;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“premises” includes messuages, houses, buildings, lands, tenements, easements and hereditaments of any tenure, whether open or enclosed, whether built or not, whether public or private, and whether or not maintained under statutory authority;
“public building” means a building or part of a building —
(a)used as a hospital or a nursing home;
(b)used ordinarily or occasionally to provide residential care to aged persons or child care for groups of children;
(c)used wholly or mainly as or in connection with a hotel, shop or restaurant; or
(d)where the public or any part thereof or numbers of persons occasionally or regularly assemble for —
(i)civic or social (but not religious or educational) purposes;
(ii)entertainment, recreational or sporting purposes; or
(iii)business purposes;
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
“qualified person” means a person who is registered as —
(a)an architect under the Architects Act (Cap. 12) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act; or
(b)a professional engineer under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act;
“register of registered inspectors” means the register kept and maintained under section 4(1);
“registered inspector” means a person who is registered as a registered inspector under section 5;
“relevant pipeline” means a pipeline used, or to be used, for the conveyance of any class of petroleum or any flammable material, and includes the piperack or pipetrack, if any, for the management of the pipeline but does not include such a pipeline located in licensed premises;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
[Act 31 of 2016 wef 01/02/2017]
“relevant pipeline works” means the construction, alteration or repair of a relevant pipeline commenced or carried out on or after the date of commencement of section 2(o) of the Fire Safety (Amendment) Act 2013;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
“street” has the same meaning as in the Street Works Act (Cap. 320A);
[5/2000]
“vessel” includes —
(a)any ship or boat or air-cushioned vehicle; and
(b)any rig or platform, whether floating at sea or fixed to the sea bed, used in any form of operations at sea.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(2)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to premises or building includes a reference to a part of such premises or building, as the case may be.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(3)  For the purposes of the definition of “pipeline owner” in subsection (1), the owner of the land on which any piperack, pipetrack or pipeline is located shall not be regarded as the person who owns or leases the piperack, pipetrack or pipeline (as the case may be) by reason only that the piperack, pipetrack or pipeline is a fixture annexed to that land.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Authorised officers
3.—(1)  The powers conferred and the duties imposed on the Commissioner under this Act, except sections 7, 8, 8A, 8B, 8C and 46, may be exercised and carried out by any of the following persons generally or specially authorised by name or office by the Commissioner and subject to his directions:
(a)any member of the Force; or
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(b)any qualified person in the employment of the Government.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(2)  Subject to the directions of the Commissioner, the powers conferred and the duties imposed on the Commissioner under the provisions of Part IV relating to the approving of plans of fire safety works and any regulations made under this Act necessary for carrying out or giving effect to those provisions may also be exercised and carried out by any qualified person who is —
(a)in the employment of the Housing and Development Board, the Jurong Town Corporation or such other public authority constituted by any written law as the Minister may approve for the purpose; and
(b)generally or specially authorised by name or office by the Commissioner.
(3)  The Commissioner may authorise any qualified person in writing to carry out the duties and responsibilities or exercise all or any of the powers of the Commissioner under this Act, subject to subsection (4) and such conditions or limitations as the Commissioner may specify.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(4)  The duties, responsibilities and powers which the Commissioner may authorise any qualified person to carry out or exercise under subsection (3) shall be such as may be approved by the Minister in writing.
(5)  Any qualified person who is generally or specially authorised under subsection (2) or (3) to carry out the duties and responsibilities or exercise all or any of the powers of the Commissioner under this Act shall be deemed to be —
(a)a public officer for the purposes of this Act; and
(b)a public servant for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Register of registered inspectors
4.—(1)  The Commissioner shall keep and maintain a register in which shall be entered the names and prescribed particulars of all persons registered under section 5 as registered inspectors.
(2)  The register of registered inspectors shall be kept and maintained at the office of the Commissioner and shall be available for inspection by any person without charge at such time as that office is open for business.
Registration of registered inspectors
5.—(1)  An application for registration as a registered inspector shall be made in such manner and shall be accompanied by such documents and particulars as may be prescribed.
(2)  No person shall be registered as a registered inspector unless he can satisfy the Commissioner that he possesses the prescribed qualifications and practical experience.
(3)  Without prejudice to subsection (2), the Commissioner may refuse to register as a registered inspector an applicant who, in his opinion, is not of good character and reputation or unable to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a registered inspector under this Act.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(4)  The Commissioner may appoint a committee of persons to assist him in considering applications for registration as registered inspectors.
(5)  Where the Commissioner has registered a person as a registered inspector, the Commissioner shall issue to the person a certificate of registration.
Cancellation of registration and suspension from practice
5A.—(1)  Without prejudice to section 6C(7), the Commissioner may by order cancel the registration of any registered inspector or suspend him from practice for a period not exceeding 12 months under any of the following circumstances:
(a)if he is deceased;
(b)if he has contravened or failed to comply with section 6(1);
(c)if he is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty or an offence under this Act;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(d)if it appears to the Commissioner that he is no longer in the position to carry out the duties or responsibilities of a registered inspector under this Act;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(e)if he has procured his registration by fraud or misrepresentation; or
[7/2004 wef 01/07/2004]
(f)if he is a qualified person or a fire safety engineer, his registration as such is revoked or cancelled or he is suspended from practising as such under this Act or any other relevant written law.
[5/2000]
[7/2004 wef 01/07/2004]
(2)  The Commissioner may, if he considers that no cause of sufficient gravity for cancellation of registration or suspension from practice exists, by writing censure the registered inspector.
[5/2000]
(3)  The Commissioner shall not exercise his powers under subsection (1)(b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) or (2) unless an opportunity of being heard has been given to the registered inspector against whom the Commissioner intends to exercise his powers.
[7/2004 wef 01/07/2004]
[5/2000]
(4)  Where a registered inspector has been suspended from practice under subsection (1), the Commissioner shall, within 7 days of the expiry of such suspension, restore the name and particulars of that registered inspector to the register of registered inspectors and issue to him a fresh certificate of registration.
[7/2004 wef 01/07/2004]
[5/2000]
(5)  Any person whose application for registration as a registered inspector is refused, or who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Commissioner under subsection (1), may, within 14 days of being notified in writing of the refusal or the decision, appeal to the Minister whose decision shall be final.
(6)  Where an appeal is made to the Minister within the period referred to in subsection (5), an order made by the Commissioner under subsection (1) shall, unless the Minister otherwise directs, not take effect unless —
(a)it is confirmed by the Minister;
(b)the appeal is for any reason dismissed by the Minister; or
(c)the appellant withdraws the appeal.
[5/2000]
(7)  Before the Minister makes a decision to allow or dismiss an appeal, the Minister may refer the matter to an Appeal Advisory Board appointed under section 28.
[5/2000]
(8)  The Minister may, in making his decision, have regard to any report made to him by the Appeal Advisory Board.
[5/2000]
(9)  Where an order made by the Commissioner to cancel the registration of a registered inspector or suspend the registered inspector from practice has taken effect, the Commissioner shall —
(a)remove the name and particulars of the inspector concerned from the register of registered inspectors;
(b)cancel any certificate of registration issued to the inspector concerned under section 5(5); and
(c)notify the inspector concerned accordingly.
[5/2000]
(10)  The inspector concerned shall, within 14 days of being notified of the removal of his name and particulars from the register of registered inspectors, surrender to the Commissioner the certificate of registration issued to him.
[5/2000]
(11)  Any person who fails to comply with subsection (10) shall be guilty of an offence.
[5/2000]
(12)  Any person whose name has been removed from the register of registered inspectors under subsection (1)(b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) shall, if his appeal to the Minister is allowed, have his name reinstated as soon as may be practicable.
[7/2004 wef 01/07/2004]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Independence of registered inspectors
6.—(1)  At the time of carrying out his duties and responsibilities or exercising his powers as a registered inspector under this Act, a registered inspector shall have no professional or financial interest in the building or relevant pipeline, or any part thereof, or fire safety works in respect of which the duties and responsibilities or powers are to be carried out or exercised.
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(2)  A registered inspector shall be regarded as having a professional or financial interest in the building or relevant pipeline, or any part thereof, or fire safety works if —
(a)he is or has been responsible for or acting as consultant to the design or construction of the building or relevant pipeline, or any of the fire safety works in any capacity;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(b)he or any nominee of his is a member, officer or employee of a company or other body which has a professional or financial interest in the building or relevant pipeline, or any part thereof, or fire safety works; or
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(c)he is a partner or is in the employment of a person who has a professional or financial interest in the building or relevant pipeline, or any part thereof, or fire safety works.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(3)  For the purposes of this Act —
(a)a person shall be treated as having a professional or financial interest in the building or relevant pipeline, or any part thereof, or fire safety works even if he has that interest only as trustee for the benefit of some other person; and
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(b)in the case of a husband and wife living together, the interest of one spouse shall, if known to the other, be deemed to be also an interest of the other.
(4)  For the purposes of this Act —
(a)involvement in the fire safety works as a registered inspector; and
(b)entitlement to any fee paid for his function as a registered inspector,
shall not be regarded as constituting a professional or financial interest.
(5)  [Deleted by Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(6)  Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.
Appointment of Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel, etc.
6A.—(1)  For the purpose of enabling an Inquiry Committee to be constituted in accordance with this section, the Minister shall appoint a panel (referred to as the Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel) consisting of such numbers of —
(a)qualified persons who are not members of the Force; and
(b)members of the Force,
as the Commissioner may determine.
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
[5/2000]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(2)  A member of the Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and shall be eligible for reappointment.
[5/2000]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(3)  Where any complaint against a registered inspector relating to his conduct or the discharge of his duties or responsibilities is received by the Commissioner, the Commissioner may constitute an Inquiry Committee consisting of 5 members of the Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel, for the purposes of inquiring into the complaint.
[5/2000]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(4)  An Inquiry Committee shall consist of —
(a)a Chairman appointed by the Commissioner;
(b)2 qualified persons who are not members of the Force; and
(c)2 members of the Force.
[5/2000]
(5)  The Commissioner may, on his own motion, constitute an Inquiry Committee for the purposes of inquiring into the conduct of any registered inspector or the discharge of a registered inspector’s duties or responsibilities if it appears to the Commissioner that the registered inspector has contravened or failed to comply with any provision of the prescribed code of professional conduct and ethics.
[5/2000]
(6)  The Chairman of an Inquiry Committee shall preside at every meeting of the Inquiry Committee.
[5/2000]
(7)  In the absence of the Chairman of an Inquiry Committee, the Commissioner shall appoint an acting Chairman who shall have and exercise all the powers of the Chairman.
[5/2000]
(8)  The Minister may at any time remove any member of an Inquiry Committee or fill any vacancy in its membership.
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
[5/2000]
(9)  Each person who, immediately before the date of commencement of section 6 of the Fire Safety (Amendment) Act 2013, is a member of the Inquiry Panel appointed under this section shall be deemed to have been appointed as a member of the Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel for a term expiring on the date when his term would have expired if section 6 of the Fire Safety (Amendment) Act 2013 had not been enacted.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Proceedings of Inquiry Committee
6B.—(1)  An Inquiry Committee may meet for the purposes of its inquiry, adjourn and otherwise regulate the conduct of its inquiry as the members may think fit.
[5/2000]
(2)  The Chairman of an Inquiry Committee may at any time summon a meeting of the Inquiry Committee.
[5/2000]
(3)  All the members of an Inquiry Committee shall be present to constitute a quorum for a meeting of the Inquiry Committee.
[5/2000]
(4)  Any decision to be made at any meeting of the Inquiry Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Inquiry Committee and, in the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the Inquiry Committee shall have a second or casting vote.
[5/2000]
(5)  A member of an Inquiry Committee shall, notwithstanding that he has ceased to be a member of the Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel on the expiry of his term of office, be deemed to be a member of the Registered Inspectors Inquiry Panel until such time as the Commissioner has decided that the Inquiry Committee of which he is a member has completed its work.
[5/2000]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Commencement of inquiry, etc.
6C.—(1)  An Inquiry Committee shall, within a reasonable time of its constitution, commence its inquiry and, subject to subsection (2), submit a written report of its findings (referred to in this section as the written report) to the Commissioner not later than 6 months after its constitution.
[5/2000]
(2)  The Commissioner may grant an extension of time to an Inquiry Committee to submit the written report to him if he is satisfied that the circumstances of the case justify the grant of an extension of time.
[5/2000]
(3)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Inquiry Committee may determine its own procedure.
[5/2000]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(4)  Where an Inquiry Committee is of the opinion that a registered inspector should be called upon to answer any allegation made against him, the Inquiry Committee shall —
(a)post or deliver to the registered inspector concerned —
(i)copies of any complaint made against him; and
(ii)a notice inviting him to give, within such period (not being less than 14 days) as may be specified in the notice, to the Inquiry Committee any written explanation he may wish to offer and to advise the Inquiry Committee if he wishes to be heard by the Committee;
(b)allow the time specified in the notice to elapse;
(c)give the registered inspector concerned reasonable opportunity to be heard if he so desires; and
(d)give due consideration to any explanation (if any) given by the registered inspector concerned.
[5/2000]
(5)  Where the complainant withdraws his complaint before the Inquiry Committee is constituted or before the inquiry by the Committee is concluded, the Commissioner may, notwithstanding such withdrawal, constitute an Inquiry Committee and direct it to inquire, or may direct the Inquiry Committee to continue with its inquiry, into the matter, and the Inquiry Committee shall comply with that direction.
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
(6)  An Inquiry Committee shall, in its written report, make such recommendation as it thinks fit.
[5/2000]
(7)  The Commissioner shall consider the written report submitted by an Inquiry Committee and may —
(a)dismiss the complaint;
(b)by order cancel the registration of the registered inspector concerned;
(c)by order suspend the registered inspector concerned from practice for a period not exceeding 12 months;
(d)by order impose a penalty not exceeding $5,000;
(e)in writing censure the registered inspector concerned; or
(f)make such other order as the Commissioner thinks fit.
[5/2000]
(8)  The Commissioner shall not be bound by any recommendation made by an Inquiry Committee in its written report.
[5/2000]
(9)  The Commissioner shall in writing notify the registered inspector concerned of his decision or any order made against the registered inspector concerned under subsection (7).
[5/2000]
(10)  A registered inspector who is aggrieved by a decision of or an order made by the Commissioner under subsection (7)(b), (c), (d) or (f) may, within 14 days of the receipt of the written notification, appeal to the Minister whose decision shall be final.
[5/2000]
(11)  Where an appeal is made to the Minister within the period referred to in subsection (10), the decision of or an order made by the Commissioner under subsection (7)(b), (c), (d) or (f), as the case may be, shall, unless the Minister otherwise directs, not take effect unless —
(a)it is confirmed by the Minister;
(b)the appeal is for any reason dismissed by the Minister; or
(c)the appellant withdraws the appeal.
[5/2000]
(12)  Before the Minister makes a decision to allow or dismiss an appeal, the Minister may refer the matter to an Appeal Advisory Board appointed under section 28.
[5/2000]
(13)  The Minister may, in making his decision, have regard to any report made to him by the Appeal Advisory Board.
[5/2000]
(14)  Any penalty imposed by the Commissioner in exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (7) shall be recoverable as a judgment debt from the registered inspector ordered to pay the penalty.
[5/2000]
Powers of Inquiry Committee
6D.—(1)  For the purposes of any inquiry conducted by an Inquiry Committee, the Inquiry Committee may —
(a)require evidence to be given on oath and for that purpose the Chairman of the Inquiry Committee may administer an oath; and
(b)require any person to attend and give evidence before it and to produce all plans, books, documents and papers in the custody of that person or under his control relating to the subject-matter of the inquiry.
[5/2000]
(2)  Every person who, without lawful excuse, refuses or fails to —
(a)attend and give evidence when required to do so by the Inquiry Committee;
(b)answer truly and fully any question put to him by a member of the Inquiry Committee; or
(c)produce to the Inquiry Committee any plans, book, document or paper required to be produced by him,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
[5/2000]
(3)  For the purposes of conducting an inquiry, an Inquiry Committee may appoint any person to make or assist in the making of whatever preliminary inquiries it thinks necessary.
[5/2000]
Powers in event of fire
7.—(1)  The Commissioner or any member of the Force authorised by him may, in the event of a fire or a suspected fire, by himself or with other members under his command —
(a)enter, break into or through and take possession of or demolish or cause to be taken possession of or demolished any premises or structure for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the spread of the fire;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(aa)enter, break into, take possession of, remove or destroy, or cause to be taken possession of, removed or destroyed, any aircraft, vehicle, vessel or thing for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the spread of the fire;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(b)take any equipment required to be used into, through or upon any premises, aircraft, vehicle or vessel where he thinks it necessary for the purpose of carrying out his duties;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(c)remove from any building, structure, aircraft, vehicle or vessel which is on fire or is in the vicinity of the fire, any flammable, combustible, explosive or dangerous material found therein without responsibility for any consequent loss or damage;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(d)for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the spread of the fire, cause any building or structure which is on fire, or which is adjacent to or in the vicinity of any building or structure which is on fire, to be pulled down, either wholly or partially, or otherwise destroyed or damaged;
(e)cause water to be shut off from, or turned into, any main or pipe in order to obtain a greater pressure and supply of water for the purpose of extinguishing the fire in consultation with the Public Utilities Board;
(f)shut off or disconnect, or order any person having the control thereof to shut off or disconnect, the supply of gas, petroleum, flammable material or electricity to any premises which is on fire or which is in the vicinity of the fire;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(g)close or cause to be closed any street in the vicinity of the fire or calamity;
(h)remove any aircraft, vehicle, vessel or thing impeding the operation of the Force and, where reasonably necessary for that purpose, he may use force or break into any such aircraft, vehicle, vessel or thing;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(i)remove, using reasonable force if necessary, any person who, by his presence or otherwise, interferes with the fire-fighting operations or who is, in his opinion, endangered by the fire;
(j)control and direct all operations for the extinguishing of the fire and all fire services present and all persons there who place their services at his disposal;
(k)use any convenient supply of water; and
(l)generally do all other things that are reasonably necessary for protecting life or property or for extinguishing the fire or for preventing the spread thereof.
[7/2004 wef 15/04/2004]
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(2)  No person or body (including the Government) shall be liable to any action, penalty or claim by reason of any action under subsection (1)(f).
Power to enter premises for various purposes
8.—(1)  The Commissioner or any member of the Force authorised by him in writing on producing, if so required, an authenticated document showing his authority shall have a right to enter any premises at all reasonable hours for the purpose of —
(a)ascertaining whether there is or has been, on or in connection with the premises, any contravention of any of the provisions of this Act;
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(b)obtaining information required for fire-fighting purposes with respect to the character of the premises, the availability of water supplies and the means of access thereto and other material circumstances relating to fire-fighting purposes;
(c)conducting fire-drills and exercises, provided prior reasonable notice in writing is given to the owner or occupier of such premises;
(d)ascertaining whether there exists in the premises any fire hazard;
(e)[Deleted by Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(f)ascertaining whether or not any place of public assembly or premises used for purposes of entertainment or recreation are being used to accommodate a larger number of persons than is permitted under any regulations made under this Act;
(g)checking and testing fire safety measures; and
(h)performance by the Commissioner or the Force of his or its powers under this or any other written law.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the Commissioner or any member of the Force authorised under subsection (1) shall not exercise the right of entry conferred by subsection (1) unless 24 hours’ notice in writing of the intended entry has been given to the occupier.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
(3)  Subsection (2) shall not apply in respect of any of the following:
(a)entry into a place of public entertainment or public assembly, factory, workshop or workplace or premises otherwise used for business purposes;
(b)[Deleted by Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
Power to board vessel for various purposes
8A.—(1)  The Commissioner or any member of the Force authorised by him in writing on producing, if so required, an authenticated document showing his authority shall have a right to board any vessel at all reasonable hours for all or any of the following purposes:
(a)obtaining information required for fire-fighting purposes with respect to the character of the vessel, the availability of water supplies and the means of access thereto and other material circumstances relating to fire-fighting purposes;
(b)conducting fire-drills and exercises;
(c)[Deleted by Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(d)performance by the Commissioner or the Force of his or its powers under this Act or any other written law.
(2)  The Commissioner or any member of the Force authorised under subsection (1) shall not exercise the right to board any vessel conferred by subsection (1) unless prior reasonable notice in writing has been given to the owner of a vessel.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
Power to enter premises, etc., up to 48 hours after fire
8B.—(1)  For the purposes of investigating the cause or origin of any fire which has occurred in or on any aircraft, vessel or vehicle, or in or on any premises, the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised by the Commissioner in writing —
(a)may enter and inspect those premises or any adjacent premises, or may board the aircraft, vessel or vehicle, as the case may be; and
(b)may seize or detain the aircraft or vehicle.
(2)  The power conferred under subsection (1)(a) on the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised by the Commissioner, may be exercised —
(a)without notice within a period of 48 hours after the fire on the premises, aircraft, vessel or vehicle, as the case may be, has been put out; and
(b)in any other case, only after giving notice in writing of the intended entry to the occupier of the premises or intended boarding to the owner of the aircraft, vessel or vehicle, as the case may be.
(3)  However, this section does not authorise the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist, to enter any part of premises, or to board any part of an aircraft, vessel or vehicle, as the case may be, without first producing, if so required, an authenticated document showing his authority to so enter or board.
(4)  To avoid doubt, nothing in this section shall limit the powers of any authority to investigate accidents under any written law for the time being in force relating to air navigation or merchant shipping.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
Powers ancillary to sections 8, 8A and 8B
8C.—(1)  The Commissioner or any member of the Force or fire forensic specialist exercising the powers under section 8, 8A or 8B may (so far as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose to which his exercise of the powers relates) do all or any of the following in the premises, aircraft, vehicle or vessel, as the case may be:
(a)take with him any assistance or equipment;
(b)search the premises, aircraft, vehicle or vessel;
(c)take photographs or video recordings of and conduct any inspection, measurement or test on the premises, aircraft, vehicle or vessel or any thing found therein;
(d)take, without payment, for the purpose of examination reasonable samples of any description from the premises, aircraft, vehicle or vessel;
(e)seize or detain any thing found in the premises, aircraft, vehicle or vessel that he believes on reasonable grounds to be connected with the commission of any offence under this Act or to be otherwise relevant to the administration or enforcement of this Act;
(f)do any other thing reasonably necessary for carrying out the purpose to which his exercise of the powers relates.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(2)  For the purposes of section 8, 8A or 8B or subsection (1)(b), the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised under section 8, 8A or 8B, as the case may be, may —
(a)require the owner or occupier of the premises, or the owner or person having charge of the aircraft, vehicle or vessel, as the case may be, to provide all reasonable assistance to the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised under section 8, 8A or 8B, as the case may be; and
(b)if the circumstances so warrant, with such assistance as he thinks necessary, break open any door, window, lock, fastener, hold, compartment, box, container, receptacle or any other thing.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(3)  Any person who fails to comply with any requirement made under subsection (2)(a) shall be guilty of an offence.
(4)  Where the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist seizes any thing under subsection (1)(e), he shall —
(a)immediately give notice in writing of the seizure to the owner of the thing seized or to the agent of such owner; or
(b)if the name and address of the owner or agent of the thing seized are not known, affix a notice prominently at the place where the thing was seized.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(5)  Any person aggrieved by the seizure of any thing under subsection (1)(e) may, within 48 hours after the seizure, complain thereof to a Magistrate’s Court.
(6)  Upon hearing such complaint, the Magistrate’s Court may —
(a)confirm the seizure wholly or in part;
(b)disallow the seizure wholly or in part;
(c)order that any thing seized be restored to its owner, subject to any condition which the Court may think fit to impose to ensure that the thing is preserved for any purpose for which it may subsequently be required; or
(d)order payment to be made to the owner of the thing seized of such amount as the Court considers will compensate him for any loss or depreciation resulting from the seizure.
(7)  Any thing seized under subsection (1)(e) may be kept or stored at the place where it was seized or may, at the direction of the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised under section 8, 8A or 8B, be removed to any other place to be kept or stored thereat.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(8)  The Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised under section 8, 8A or 8B may mark, seal or label any thing being detained under subsection (1)(e) in such manner as he thinks fit for the purpose of indicating that the thing is under detention and may lock or seal the place (or any part thereof) in which the thing is being detained.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(9)  Any person who, without the authority of the Commissioner, or a member of the Force or a fire forensic specialist authorised under section 8, 8A or 8B, as the case may be —
(a)interferes with, removes or otherwise disposes of any thing seized or detained under section 8, 8A or 8B or tampers with, alters or removes any mark, seal or label placed under subsection (8); or
(b)opens, breaks or otherwise tampers with the lock or seal placed under subsection (8),
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
(10)  Subsections (4) to (9) shall apply to any aircraft or vehicle seized under section 8B as if they were seized or detained under subsection (1)(e).
(11)  Nothing in this section shall be taken to prejudice any right to retain or dispose of property which may exist in law apart from this section.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Exemption of Singapore Armed Forces
8D.  Sections 7 to 8C shall not apply to any aircraft, vehicle or vessel belonging to or exclusively employed in the service of the Singapore Armed Forces or of any visiting force lawfully present in Singapore.
[Act 14 of 2013 wef 01/09/2013]
Fire forensic specialists
8E.—(1)  The Minister may, in writing, appoint any of the following individuals to be fire forensic specialists to assist the Commissioner, or any member of the Force authorised by the Commissioner under section 8B, exercising in Singapore a power under that section or section 8C:
(a)a public officer (except an operations support officer at grade III, IV or V or other public officer at equivalent grade) who is not a member of the Force but is employed in the offices of the Force;
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
(b)an individual (who is not a public officer) with suitable qualifications or experience to properly exercise the powers of a fire forensic specialist.
(2)  A fire forensic specialist’s appointment is to be for such period as the Minister decides and, for an individual referred to in subsection (1)(b), is to be on such terms and conditions (including remuneration) as the Minister decides from time to time.
(3)  The Minister may, for any reason that appears to the Minister to be sufficient, at any time revoke an individual’s appointment as a fire forensic specialist.
(4)  The Commissioner must issue to each fire forensic specialist an identification card, which must be carried at all times by the fire forensic specialist when exercising powers under any provision in this Act.
(5)  A fire forensic specialist whose appointment as such ceases must return any identification card issued to him under subsection (4) to the Commissioner.
(6)  A fire forensic specialist is not a member of the Force, and an individual referred to in subsection (1)(b) who is appointed as a fire forensic specialist under that subsection does not, by virtue only of that appointment, become an employee or agent of the Government.
(7)  A fire forensic specialist is to be issued with such equipment, or such description of equipment, as the Commissioner may determine.
(8)  The Commissioner may, in writing, authorise a fire forensic specialist to exercise any of the powers in sections 8B and 8C in aid of any member of the Force or class of such members, as the Commissioner may specify in that authorisation, but the Commissioner cannot authorise under this subsection any fire forensic specialist to arrest any individual.
(9)  The Commissioner’s authorisation under subsection (8) for a fire forensic specialist may do any or all of the following:
(a)limit the powers in sections 8B and 8C that the fire forensic specialist may exercise;
(b)limit when the fire forensic specialist may exercise his powers in sections 8B and 8C or any of them;
(c)limit where in Singapore the fire forensic specialist may exercise his powers in sections 8B and 8C or any of them;
(d)limit the circumstances in which the fire forensic specialist may exercise his powers in sections 8B and 8C or any of them;
(e)limit the purposes for which the fire forensic specialist may exercise his powers in sections 8B and 8C or any of them.
(10)  A fire forensic specialist who under this section is authorised by the Commissioner to exercise any power under section 8B or 8C to assist the Commissioner or a member of the Force —
(a)must obey all lawful directions (general or specific) of the Commissioner and the member of the Force when exercising such power; and
(b)shall be deemed to be a public servant for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224) when exercising such power.
(11)  Without prejudice to subsection (10), where any law or written law protects a member of the Force from liability for the member’s acts or omissions, that law or written law shall be taken to operate as if those acts or omissions included the fire forensic specialist’s acts or omissions when acting in the course of his duty as a fire forensic specialist in accordance with the written authorisation of the Commissioner under this Part and the lawful directions of the member of the Force he assists.
(12)  To avoid doubt, a fire forensic specialist does not cease to be acting on the direction of a member of the Force by reason only that that member of the Force is not present at all times when the fire forensic specialist exercises any power under section 8B or 8C.
[Act 10 of 2015 wef 01/06/2015]
Power to fix plate showing position of fire-hydrant
9.—(1)  Upon giving 7 days’ notice in writing to the owner or occupier of any property situate in the vicinity of a fire-hydrant or water supply, the Commissioner may thereafter cause a plate indicating the location of such fire-hydrant or water supply to be fixed to any part of the property as may, in the opinion of the Commissioner, be best suited to indicate such location.
(2)  Any person who refuses to allow the fixing of any such plate referred to in subsection (1), or obstructs any person in the course of the fixing thereof or removes or defaces any such plate after it has been so fixed shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
Power to install fire-hydrants
10.  The Commissioner may place or cause to be placed fire-hydrants as he may think necessary at convenient places in streets or roads.
Damaging, etc., of fire-hydrants
11.—(1)  Any person who —
(a)not being a member of the Force takes water from a fire-hydrant other than for the extinguishment of a fire without the consent of the Commissioner or the Public Utilities Board, as the case may be; or
(b)wilfully damages a fire-hydrant,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
(2)  Any person convicted of an offence under subsection (1)(b) shall, in addition to the fine imposed on him under that subsection, also be liable to pay compensation to the Public Utilities Board for any expenses reasonably incurred in repairing or replacing such fire-hydrant.
False alarm
12.—(1)  Any person who knowingly gives or causes to be given a false alarm of fire to the Force or to the police shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, “false alarm of fire” includes a false call for the ambulance or other services provided by the Force.