Household Shelter

Since 1996, we have equipped every flat with a household shelter. Designed to protect you during an emergency, the household shelter has strengthened walls, floor, ceiling, and a specially designed door. These must not be hacked or drilled. Certain finishes and fixtures are not permitted as they cannot be easily removed and may become hazards during an emergency. Lighting, power point, telephone point, and TV/ radio outlet points are also provided in the shelter so that you can communicate with those outside the shelter.

Learn about the common problems that occur as well as some handy maintenance tips.




Take a look at the components that make up your flat’s household shelter.

household shelter door

The household shelter consists of:

  • Door
    The door is designed to protect you against the blasting effect of weapons during an emergency. It also provides an air-tight closure to the shelter.
  • Rubber gasket at the door and ventilation sleeve
    The rubber gasket serves to provide an air-tight environment to the shelter and prevent seepage of toxic gases during an emergency.
  • Door handle
    The door handle has a dual purpose. During peacetime, the handle is swung downwards to open the door. In an emergency situation, the handle is lifted and swung upwards in Civil Defence mode to ensure that the shelter is air-tight.
  • Ventilation sleeve
    During peace time, the fragmentation plate is held in open position by 4 M8 stainless steel screws connected to the ventilation sleeve. In an emergency, the plate is tightened using the 4 screws against the sleeve and compressing the ‘O’ ring rubber gasket to provide an air-tight shelter. Regular checks are necessary to ensure that the ‘O’ ring rubber gasket is intact and the screws are oiled to facilitate easy tightening during an emergency.

Ventilation sleeve

Common problems

Your household shelter door may not shut properly or have a dislodged rubber gasket. See how you can fix these problems.

The door cannot be opened or closed properly

The door may not open or close properly, causing scratch marks on the door frame.

household shelter door frame

  • Why it happens:
    • When the door is repeatedly swung open, it knocks against the skirting tiles. This induces stress to the door hinges and may cause the screws to loosen or the hinges to break. This causes the door to sag
  • Solutions:
    • Tighten the loosened screws
    • Engage a contractor for household shelter door repair to replace the broken hinges
  • Maintenance tips:
    • Hold on to the door handle when you open the door. The door should not be hitting the skirting tiles, which can cause it to sag

Door latch cannot retract when the handle is pressed 

locking mechanism

  • Why this happens:
    • Connecting screws in the lockset (the hardware making up the locking mechanism) may have dropped off or loosened, causing the latch to jam
    • Mechanical parts inside the lockset may be damaged or worn out
    • Rust could have formed on the parts inside the lockset because of moisture entering during regular cleaning of the door
  • Solutions:
  • Maintenance tips:
    • Oil all movable parts, such as the door latch, hinges, locking bolts, and handle to ensure that they function smoothly
    • Ensure that no water gets into the lockset when cleaning the door with a wet cloth. After cleaning the door, wipe the damp area with a dry cloth

Rubber gasket loosens and dangles from the ventilation sleeve

The ‘O’ ring rubber gasket is sealed to the rim of the sleeve by adhesives to ensure air-tightness when the plate is tightened against the sleeve during an emergency.


You may find that the rubber gasket has loosened and dangles from the rim of the ventilation sleeve.

  • Why this happens:
    • The adhesive may have dried up, causing the rubber gasket to become loose
  • Solution:
    • Use adhesives to glue the ‘O’ ring rubber gasket to the recessed space of the ventilation sleeve
  • Maintenance tips:
    • Glue the ‘O’ ring rubber gasket to the recessed space of the ventilation sleeve if you notice a slight debonding. This is to prevent it from being dislodged.