3,231 more HDB lifts to get safety upgrade this year

Lift upgrading taking place at an HDB block in Serangoon North last October. To date, contracts for the enhancement of 5,198 lifts in total within PAP town councils have been awarded, with a value of $107 million.
Lift upgrading taking place at an HDB block in Serangoon North last October. To date, contracts for the enhancement of 5,198 lifts in total within PAP town councils have been awarded, with a value of $107 million.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

They will boast features such as emergency communications system, high-tech sensors

About 3,200 more lifts across Singapore will be enhanced with better safety features such as high-tech sensors to monitor the lift speed and an emergency communications system this year.

A first batch of 1,200 lifts within the 15 People's Action Party (PAP) town councils has been enhanced since January last year, the PAP town councils said in a joint statement issued yesterday.

The second batch of 3,231 lifts has been identified, as part of a 10-year plan, which started in January last year, to upgrade more than 18,500 lifts in Housing Board (HDB) estates.

Of these, around 17,000 are lifts managed by PAP town councils, while the rest are within the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).

An AHTC spokesman said in January last year that the 1,500 lifts that fall under AHTC would also be upgraded over the next 10 years. The Straits Times was unable to reach the town council for comment.

To date, including the two batches, contracts for the enhancement of 5,198 lifts in total within PAP town councils have been awarded, with a value of $107 million.

These lifts are upgraded under the $450 million Lift Enhancement Programme (LEP), which is substantially funded by the HDB.

Coordinating chairman for PAP town councils Teo Ho Pin, who leads the PAP Lift Taskforce spearheading the programme, said the LEP is being implemented according to schedule. Work is in progress for around 700 lifts, added Dr Teo.

He said the enhanced lifts will have eight features to further boost their safety and reliability.

The eight safety features to be installed are:

 • ascending car over speed protection, which monitors and reduces lift speed;

 • unintended car movement protection, which guards against failure of lift components;

 • slacken governor rope electrical safety device, which initiates a stop when necessary;

 • car apron, which reduces the risk of people at the lift landing falling into the lift shaft;

 • light curtains, which function as a door protective device;

 • electrical safety interlocking for multiple-panel doors, which ensures lifts will remain in place when doors are open;

 • automatic rescue device, which takes a lift to the nearest landing and opens the doors if there is a power failure; and

 • emergency communications system.

Started in 2018, the LEP is for lifts that are less than 18 years old, to ensure compliance with the Building and Construction Authority's safety standards and efficiency.

 
 

Older lifts that do not qualify for the scheme may be replaced under a different scheme.

Other initiatives by the task force include installing lift surveillance systems for more than 23,000 lifts.

Last November, the task force said lift vandalism cases have fallen by nearly four times - from 342 in 2017 to 90 last year - since the installation of these systems, which have deterred such behaviour and helped town councils nab culprits.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2020, with the headline '3,231 more HDB lifts to get safety upgrade this year'. Print Edition | Subscribe