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Sunday, July 29, 2012

FAQ: What are the Renovation Works that are allowed in (Bomb) Shelters?

What are the Renovation Works that are allowed in (Bomb)Shelters?

This is a frequently asked question and I thought that it would be good to share this info with the home owners who are renovating their place. :)

As household or storey shelters are made up of strengthened wall, floor, ceiling and household shelters (HS) / storey shelters (SS) door, they must not be hacked or drilled indiscriminately. Certain finishes and fixtures are not permitted as they are not easily removable and may become hazards to shelter occupants during a war emergency. Lighting, power point, telephone point and CATV outlet points are also provided in the shelter so that occupants may remain inside and communicate with external parties.

The list of permitted and not permitted work can be downloaded from the SCDF website (extracted for easiler reference below).

Permitted Works for Household Shelters

Specific details of permitted and not permitted works for HS are spelt out below:

Any repair or alternation or renovation works, which are likely to weaken or damage any structural elements of the HS are not permitted.

Permitted Works
  • Laying of floor tiles bonded to cement mortar screed. The total thickness of floor finishes and screed is not to exceed 50mm;
  • Laying of vinyl or linoleum flooring;
  • Laying of floor skirting tiles (up to a maximum of 100mm high) by bonding them with wet cement mortar to HS walls;
  • Painting of walls, ceiling or door. In the case of HS door, owner shall not cover or paint over the HS door notice, locking bolts or door seal. The old paint coat on door and door frame is to be removed prior to repainting to avoid increase paint thickness resulting in difficulty in closing and opening of the door. The new paint coat must be dried up completely before closing the door as wet or damp paint will cause the door/ rubber gasket to stick onto the door frame resulting in difficulty in opening the door;
  • Painting on only the exterior face of the 6mm fragmentation stainless steel plate of the ventilation sleeves;
  • Fixing of removable screws with non-metallic inserts not exceeding 50mm deep for fixtures and equipment e.g. pictures, posters, cabinets or shelves etc. Such fixtures that are installed inside the HS will have to be removed by the owners within 48 hours upon notification. There is no restriction to the diameter of the non-metallic insert as long as it does not exceed 50mm in length. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the strength of the insert is adequately provided for the intended purpose;
  • Power driven nails are allowed only on external face of the HS walls to facilitate flexibility in mounting of features/ fixtures by owners;
  • Applying splatterdash or equivalent to the external face of HS walls only to provide rough surface for feature wall panels or wall tiles installation;
  • Removal of the fragmentation plates covering the ventilation openings shall be carried out subject to the following conditions: 
          *  The plates (after removal) shall be securely mounted with removable screws on non-metallic inserts not exceeding 50mm deep on one of the internal face of HS walls.
          * After the removal of plates, the bolts and nuts shall be installed back to their original positions on the ventilation sleeves.
          * Closing or covering up of ventilation openings by removable aesthetic or architectural finishes is allowed, provided that at least 25% of the total area of the two openings shall be left uncovered for ventilation purposes during peacetime.

Not Permitted Works
  • Laying of wall tiles or spray of rock tone finish, cement sand finish and gypsum plastering on the internal faces of HS walls;
  • Laying of floor tiles using adhesive materials;
  • Laying of 2nd layer of tiles on floor or skirting tiles;
  • Installation of cornices within the HS;
  • Installation works with fixings using power driven nails into the internal HS walls;
  • Tampering with, removing or covering up of the HS door notice. The HS door notice provides important information to the occupants on the use of the HS;
  • Indiscriminate hacking and drilling of the HS walls, floor slab and ceiling slab, other than drilling into HS walls and ceiling slab to affix removable screws on inserts, provided the depth of the insert shall not exceed 50mm;
  • Hacking to both internal and external face of the household shelter walls to form key for tiling;
  • Hacking or indiscriminate drilling on external face of HS wall for mounting of feature wall panels or wall tiles installation;
  • Modifying, changing, removing or tampering of HS door;
  • Modifying, altering or tampering with any part of the ventilation openings, plates and the mounting devices such as bolts and nuts.;
  • Painting to the interior face of the 6mm fragmentation stainless steel plate of the ventilation sleeves, the ventilation sleeves, "O" ring rubber gaskets and the four or eight numbers of stainless steel bolts which hold the steel plate to the sleeves.

For further enquiries on the above, HDB flat owners are encouraged to consult their nearest HDB Branch Offices, using the contact information available here.
HDB Branch OfficesCounter Operating Hours  
Weekdays : 8:00am - 5.00pm
Saturdays : 8:00am - 1:00pm
Toll-free Branch Office Service Line: 1800-2255432
If you need to call any of the HDB Branch Office, please call the toll-free Branch Office Service Line at 1800-2255432 and the Customer Service Officer will be able to assist you. The Branch Office Service Line operates on weekdays from 8:00am - 5:00pm. It is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Non-HDB home owners and building professionals may contact FSSD by using the contact information available here.

Extracted from BCA and SCDF.

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