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Singapore’s First Smart Fire State Launched

Image Credits: Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), Press Release

The Punggol Fire Station – Singapore’s first smart fire station and SCDF’s 23rd fire station – officially opened recently. It will serve as a testbed for the smart applications to be introduced to other fire stations in Singapore.

Co-located with the Punggol Neighbourhood Police Centre at 151 Punggol Central, the fire station will serve the rapidly developing Punggol town, including the Punggol Digital District.

This next-generation fire station will have a wide range of features leveraging cutting-edge technologies and data analytics to optimise resources and enhance operational efficiency. These were conceptualised and implemented in partnership with HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency).

Some smart features include:

  • Automated fire station access control
    • this integrates automation, motion sensor, facial and license plate recognition technologies to enhance the security of the fire station and improve efficiency by freeing up officers’ time to focus on crucial operational duties. Visitors will be able to enjoy seamless access to the fire station when using their physical identity cards (NRICs) or digital NRICs on the Singpass app at the registration kiosk.
  • Automated medical store
    • a grab-and-go self-checkout system that uses sensors and tracking devices to detect items taken off shelves and who took them, thereby easing the demands of manual stock-taking on paramedics so that they can focus on operational needs and training. The continuous tracking enabled by the automated medical store is also envisioned to be part of the larger supply chain management within SCDF to optimise resources by leveraging data analytics to anticipate future and cyclical demands for specific inventory items.
  • Integrated building management system (IBMS)
    • provides automated control of the building’s sub-systems such as air-conditioning, mechanical ventilation fans, and lighting to achieve cost savings. The IBMS also optimises energy consumption, one of the key thrusts of what makes this fire station environmentally sustainable.

The Director, Civil Defence Programme Management Centre (CDPMC) at HTX stated that as SCDF transforms itself towards an organisation driven by data and technology, the traditional fire station also needs to transform itself into a Smart Fire Station, which harnesses leading-edge technologies such as sensors, analytics and automation. He noted that a Smart Fire Station will help SCDF to improve both its operational and administrative effectiveness, thereby bringing a more effective and efficient service to members of the public.

The fire safety systems market was valued at US$10.89 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to US$16.76 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period 2021-2026. Future fire alarm systems will be software-based, where one needs to find a way to train one or two programmers to avoid being dependent on the equipment supplier. This can also help the supplier and should lead to better pricing. Also, with the improvement of the sensors’ capabilities and communication channel technology, IoT devices present in industries and residential spaces have boosted the adoption of new-tech fire safety solutions.

The increase in the number of deaths and property loss has increased the awareness of fire safety systems which is driving the market. Countries with low infrastructure development investments are showing an interest in the installation of fire safety systems. Factors, such as poor handling of burning lamps and cooking gas leakage, alternating voltage and electric spark, and overheating of electronic equipment, were identified as the prime causes for fire outbreaks in the incidents.

Moreover, stringent government regulations and mandates are driving the market. The implementation of unified building codes in various developed and developing countries across all end-user segments, mandated by local authorities, has pushed the demand for fire safety systems.

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