The recent tragic fire at the Kampong Siglap Mosque is an eye opener for the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS). The event calls for a re-evaluation of Singapore's fire safety regulations.
It is reported that as a result of the fire MUIS is considering mandatory fire insurance for all mosques. MUIS must go further and install sprinklers in all of Singapore's mosques. Sprinklers will reduce the annual fire insurance premiums and may lower the possible 'out of pocket' cost of repairing buildings damaged in any future fire.
Many mosques, such as this one in Little India, are part of Singapore's architectural and cultural heritage
Subsequent to the Siglap Mosque fire, it is appropriate to conduct an in-depth review in order to make it mandatory to fit fire sprinklers in all public buildings where large groups of people gather from time to time, including mosques, churches, etc.
Existing fire safety measures and practices certainly helped to avert a human tragedy at the Kampong Siglap Mosque but we may not be so lucky in the future.
An excerpt from the above was published in the Straits Times on October 14, 2009.