Civil Defence shelters and the public warning system

Updated: 29 Dec 2016
Rate this

To prepare yourself in the event of war, you should familiarise yourself with Civil Defence shelters and the public warning system.


Before a war emergency, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will inform the public about protective measures, including how to recognise outdoor air raid signals and how to prepare your household shelter for use.

Learn to recognise the sirens

During an emergency, the SCDF broadcasts three types of sirens through a system of outdoor speakers.

  Audio Sample What you should do
“Important message” Button to play important message audio sample Turn on the radio. An important message will be broadcast soon.
“Alarm” Button to play alarm audio sample Go to a bomb shelter immediately. An air raid or shelling is coming soon.
“All clear” Button to play "all clear" audio sample Leave the shelter. It is now safe to go outside.

Keep your household shelter ready

All residential units built since May 1998 are required to have household shelters. Residential units without household shelters have a common shelter on every storey.

When the "Alarm" signal sounds, move into your household shelter quickly. Staying at home in your shelter is safer than going outdoors to reach a public shelter. While you are in the shelter, please tune in to your TV or radio for important messages. You can leave the shelter once the "All clear" signal sounds.


Hacking and drilling of any part of your household shelter (floor, ceiling, walls) is not allowed.

Locate your nearest Civil Defence shelters

Use the SCDF Bomb Shelter Locator to find a Civil Defence shelter nearest to your location. Civil Defence shelters are found at:

  • Underground MRT stations
  • HDB blocks (at the basement and void decks)
  • Schools
  • Community centres
  • Other public buildings

Services & tools

SCDF Bomb Shelter Locator
Find a Civil Defence shelter nearest to your location.