Since 1996 Singapore flats are required to have a bomb shelter installed in the buildings. The purpose of these shelters are to protect the occupants in the event of a war or explosion. While it is common for HDB owners to have their personal bomb shelter, those staying in some HDB rental blocks have to share these a common “storey shelter.”
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) recently visited some rental flats at Blk 569B Champions Way and Blk 185A Woodlands Street 13 in the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC. The residents in these blocks raised concerns about their storey shelters being padlocked.
To make matters worse, nobody knows who has the keys to unlock these storey shelters. It is also uncertain how those in-charge of the keys can speedily unlock these shelters in case of emergencies. There is no indication of how often these shelters have been maintained or the state of their internal fixtures.
The residents in these rental blocks appear unsure if these shared shelters are able to house all of them. Residents also seem unaware of how to use these shelters due to a lack of information and emergency drills.
It is worrying that these shared storey shelters have been padlocked. What is the point of having bomb shelters if residents in these rental blocks cannot access them in a timely manner during war emergencies.