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Most HDB condominiums in Singapore have rubbish chutes where they can put their trash. These chutes keep the units and the neighbourhood clean.

On the other hand, in that respect are some instances in which the chutes become the origin of the fire. This is because there are some instances in which some residents accidentally throw flammable items such as kerosene or paint in the chutes. Likewise, some people even throw cigarette stubs, which could flame the trashes and causes a fire on the entire condominium.

In case, you are caught up in a fire triggered by a refuse chute, what are the things you should do? The following are some of the points that you can behave when there is a rubbish chute fire in your HDB building:

1. Help put out the fire

Yes, you can stop the fire in the refuse chute by pouring water down into the chute. You may do either of these things. First, get a plastic bag and fill it up with water. Then, tie it first before you drop it into the chute. Or, you may just throw a pail of water into the rubbish chute. Do any of the methods repeatedly until you see that fire is already putting off in the chute. You will know if the fire is put out when there is no smoke in the rubbish chute.

2. Grab the fire extinguisher

It is advisable that you have at least one fire extinguisher in your home or you may use the one inside the premises of your building. Then, try to put out the fire using the fire extinguisher. On the other hand, if the fire persists, you may evacuate your home right away.

3. Turn off the gas immediately

Once you knew that there is fire into your rubbish chute, turn off the gas immediately. Also, close the door of the room that is affected.

4. Call 995 for help

If the fire cannot be put out, it is better if you call for help. You dial 995 and inform to them the details of the fire, including your address and block building number. Certainly, they will attend to your need right away.

5. Evacuate your unit

Another safest way to do when your condo is on fire is to evacuate your building. Use the stairways and never use the elevator.

The rubbish chute fire usually does not spread out in the area. With this, you can easily put out and prevent this fire by doing the above tasks above. For preventive measures, be careful about things you are throwing in the refuse chutes. Avoid flammable things that may spark into the rubbish chute. In doing so, you will stay safe as well as your neighbours.

Also, the Housing Regulatory Board (HDB) has a master fire insurance policy that covers your building including the void decks. With this, no need to worry about the post-fire repair work for your building.