Use of powder at events here hinges on cops, SCDF findings

Use of powder at events here hinges on cops, SCDF findings
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Whether coloured powder will be permitted at future events in Singapore, such as the upcoming Colour Run next month, will depend on the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF's) assessment of the safety risks posed by such activities.

This is according to Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran, who was replying to questions in Parliament on the use of coloured powder at events.

Safety concerns over the Colour Run in Singapore were raised following a water-park fire in Taiwan last month, believed to have been caused when coloured powder thrown at revellers exploded. At least five people have died and hundreds were injured, including a Singaporean.

Yesterday, Mr Iswaran said that the police and SCDF are in contact with the event organisers of the Colour Run here.

"The agencies will assess the hazards posed by the materials intended for use at the event, before granting the necessary approvals," said Mr Iswaran.

He also said that the Colour Run in Singapore will require a police permit and the post-run party will need a public entertainment licence. An SCDF permit is also needed to set up a stage at the post-run party.

Restrictions or additional safety measures may also be imposed to manage safety risks at the run, said Mr Iswaran.

These may include: replacing combustible powder with non-combustible materials such as water mist, limiting the area where the powder can be dispersed, not allowing sources that can spark a fire within a specific area, or prohibiting the discharge of powder in areas where a lot of people gather, such as the end point of the run.

Following the Taiwan fire, Mr Iswaran said the authorities are taking a more detailed look into the incident, the factors that caused it, and "what lessons we can draw from that and impose appropriate additional (conditions) if such events are to continue in Singapore".

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