Skyjuice

To Lockup Roof Top Access Doors in HDB Blocks?

1 July 2010

Introduction
A dead body was found in one of the 8,000 HDB blocks in Singapore. The Town Councils that manage the HDB blocks just announced that they would strengthen the security of the roof top access and replace all locks at the roof top access doors with better ones. The keys to the new locks cannot be duplicated easily.

The Cost
The total cost is around S$ 10 millions for the security measures and about S$ 3.3 millions will be spent on the new locks

The Arguments
For:

a) The new locks are more secured as they cannot be easily duplicated;

Against:

a) Not effective if the doors are left opened after use by the workers;

The Proposal
Installing an additional telemonitoring point to the access doors.

The Supporting Reasons
a) Why Doors not locked?
Lift motor rooms and water tanks are often located at the roof tops. Lift mechanics are the frequent users. They often left the doors opened for their own convenience and forgot to lock the door after the repair work.

b) Fire Escape to Roof Tops?
Roof top is often used as one of the fire escapes for highrise buildings. In case of a fire in the middle floors, the only fire escape will the roof tops. This is especially true in the case of HDB Point Blocks where the staircases are close to each other.

c) Stop Crimes at Roof Tops?
A secured locking device will never stop crimes. It is a false sense of security if the locking device is not monitored. It merely delay crimes from happening.

d) What will be the Cost?
For every HDB block, there is already a telemonitoring system that monitors the lifts. One could always find a spare monitoring point that could be easily programmed to alert the lift monitoring operators when there is an intrusion.

This monitoring point can link all the electrical limit switches at the roof top access doors all in one circuit.

This proposal is expected to cost around S$200/= per block or about S$1.6 millions for 8,000 HDB blocks. This proposal is about 9 times cheaper than the $10 millions proposed to spend by the Town Councils and will be much more cost effective.

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