All posts by Dylan Phuah

Stay Alive In A Singapore Zombie Apocalypse. This Safety Company’s Got You Covered

It has been a few days since news first broke of a potential biochemical leak in Tuas. Reports in the mainstream media have largely claimed that everything is under control yet from all the live footage being uploaded on Youtube and Facebook, it doesn’t seem as such. From what you see, there seems to be a zombie outbreak in the Western part of Singapore and it is spreading fast. Panic sets in at first but eventually, you come to your senses and start preparing for the worst.

You recall to your best ability what to expect from the zombie movies you have watched. You turn on the computer to get some additional info and to your horror, there is now now longer any network connection. The same goes for your mobile phone. Luckily for you, recall a post you read a while ago on top tips to stay alive in a zombie apocalypse and even luckier, you had saved an offline copy of it on your backup. And here it is.

Stay alive in a Singapore zombie apocalypse with these 12 tips:

1. Condition Yourself.

zombie singapore

In scenarios like this, the best weapon one can ever have is his or herself. It is important that one is physically, emotionally and mentally fit to go into battle or emergency situations as the stake for survival are high.

Train for the unknown and prepare yourself by building yourself up. Choose an encompassing exercise such as CrossFit, which incorporates nearly all forms of exercise that are based on functional movements or core movements in life from olympic weightlifting, metabolic conditioning (running, skipping, jumping, and the likes), gymnastics, rowing, and swimming. It is an ideal high-intensity exercise because it maximises the amount of work done in the shortest time possible.

2. Take Up Martial Arts Lessons.

zombie apocalypse singapore

To survive, it isn’t just enough that you know how to retreat for cover and run. At times when you get cornered, you will need to defend yourself. There are a number of martial arts available from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Capoeira, Karate, TaeKwondo and Muay Thai. Learn one and be the best weapon that you can be.

3. Learn How to Make a Local Radio.


zombie apocalypse singapore

Emergency situations often times leave communication lines down and it’s frustrating when you need to reach someone for help or even when you just want to check on loved ones especially when you become separated.

A good back-up so that you are living back on the grid is to learn how to make a local radio. This allows you to hear broadcasts or government advice whilst you’re in hiding. Moreover, this allows you to communicate to other humans in the area when the need for rescue arises.

4. Know Your Local Geography.


You’re probably wishing to yourself that you had listened to Ms. Tan’s local geography lessons so that you’ll know where to hide and plan the necessary escape routes in the event that you find yourself being chased by these half dead pests. Knowing the ins and outs of Singapore whether by land, sea or air can mean a crucial advantage in getting your way around. More than that, knowing your local geography can perhaps score you some much-needed supplies and weaponry.

5. Keep an Emergency Supply and Tool Kit.


It is essential to have an emergency supply and tool kit to get you through the days when you are cut off from vital resources. Fill your pantry with the following: one gallon of water per person per day (3 day supply for evacuation or 2 week supply at home), non-perishable food like canned goods or instant noodles, torch and spare batteries, battery operated radio or hand cranked radio, first aid kit, medications and medical items, multipurpose tool (swiss knife), sanitation and hygiene items, cellphone with chargers, power bank, extra cash, emergency blanket, whistle, candles, matches, duct tape, rope, scissors, manual can opener, family and emergency contact information, copies of personal documents, masks, rain gear, boots, plastic sheeting.

6. Learn How to Use Distractions.


Learning how to distract your opponent is indispensable for a successful escape plan. Zombies are known not to be as smart as their alive selves and are prone to easy trickery. Use your software as an advantage over the brainless undead. Create distractions for the zombies while you make your escape.

7. Learn How to Drive and Hotwire a Vehicle.

zombie apocalypse singapore

Let’s admit it, even the fittest person gets tired. No one can run for a long time and when your legs fail you, you need to be able to get into any vehicle, be it a car or motorcycle to get you to your destination. Learning to drive and hotwire a car or motorcycle is an essential life skill you ought to have in such an emergency.

8. Wear Protective Clothing.


Singapore is a tropical country, yes and it’s nice to wear light, airy clothes to help with the humidity. However, this is a zombie invasion and wearing anything flimsy is quite questionable. Cover as much skin as possible and if need be, wear some shield like shin guards, elbow protectors, and the likes so that when a half-dead decides to make you it’s next meal, it doesn’t directly bite into you.

9. Learn How to Grow Your Own Food.

zombie apocalypse singaporeEmergency supplies are called emergency supplies for a reason: They’re not there to last forever.  If you are not very careful, you can run out of your supplies in just 2 weeks. This is where your knowledge of growing your own food supplies come in. Think “The Martian.” Trust me, everyone will be thanking you for this skill.

10. Know the Signs of An Infected Individual.


In stressful situations, everybody gets paranoid with the people they deal with. Are they alive? Are they one of us? Don’t just run away from someone who is all bloodied up. Who knows if they fought their way to safety and the blood that is soaking them isn’t really theirs due to a bite? Knowing the signs of an infected individual might just be the key between you saving another human being from becoming a zombie.

11. Learn Parkour.


Want to outrun zombies? Train your agility so you may overcome urban barriers in no time. Hop over railings, climb over fences (legally, so you don’t get yourself into trouble). Parkour will give you the added advantage of bypassing urban obstacles during your escape. Leave the horde behind with parkour. Just a disclaimer, do note the safety precautions and do not over-exert or overestimate your capabilities while training parkour as it may lead to dire consequences.

12. Learn How to Cycle, Keep Multiple Spare Tyres.


If you don’t already know how to cycle at this age, there’s never a better time to pick it up. Cycling is an essential skill. Not only that, make sure to keep spare tyres and learn how to change them in the event that your tyres blow. Last we checked, zombies can’t ride bicycles so there, you have another method of out-running the horde. 

Bonus Point: Invest in Portable Energy Generators

zombie apocalypse singapore

In as much as communication lines can be broken, power lines can also shut down in emergency situations. Therefore, having another source of energy is important. Harness natural resources like the sun, wind, and water. There are a number of companies who sell portable energy equipment that can help you harvest these precious commodities in times like this.

*** This article has been released in conjunction with
Halloween 2016. Any resemblance to zombies undead or alive are purely coincidental.  The tips you see above are based on the hypothetical scenario of a zombie apocalypse. However, they can also be used in other emergency situations that entail human safety and survival.

10 Things You Should Know About The Recurring Singapore Haze (Part 1)

Schools are closed, you’re regularly checking your smartphone app for the latest PSI readings and N95 masks are all sold out. These are some of the signs that the haze has returned to Singapore. Singapore may not experience summer, autumn, winter or spring but it seems haze has become an irritatingly recurring season for us. We’re growing to be so accustomed to this season of haze that it is quickly becoming the crux of many jokes. If Maze Runner was filmed in Singapore..

singapore haze

Well jokes aside, the haze has become an annual affair that we wish to avoid. When asked about the haze, many would say it’s that time of the year where dense thick smoke clouds smear the skies. But how much do we really know about those smoke clouds and the haze in particular? Here are 10 things that you might just not have known about the haze.

1. What actually causes the haze?haze singapore

While the general understanding is that haze is caused by forest fires, its main cause runs deeper than just forest fires. The exact cause of haze is the burning of drained peatlands. So the main culprit for that haze is not the burning of trees  or shrubs but rather the peat soil/land.

singapore haze 2016

Peatlands are sodden land that are comprised of decaying plant matter approximately 20 meters deep into the ground. About 14 percent of Indonesia’s land is peatland. Ironically, most peatlands are actually resistant to fire due to the moisture that is trapped in the land. However, peatland drainage for commercialization and deforestation has generated dry peatland, which burns like coal during clearing and fertilization. These conditions are ideal for the smoky, hazy air that to be carried by wind across Southeast Asia. Furthermore, as the peats run deep into the land, such fires are difficult to put out. This explains why handling the haze situation is much tougher than it seems.

2. What does the PSI actually measure?

PSI PSI PSI! What is this PSI?

haze singapore 2016

The Pollutant Standards Index or the PSI is a term Singaporeans would be all too familiar with. But what does the PSI actually measure? Different measures and indexes are used across countries to, in a way, quantify haze. Here in Singapore, PSI does this job of  quantifying haze and allowing us to ascertain how bad the haze situation is at that present moment. According to National Environment Agency (NEA), PSI takes into account a variety of toxic matters and gaseous pollutants. These include particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. While the latter 4 pollutants may seem familiar, PM10 and PM2.5 might be terms you haven’t come across. PM10 are particles in the air that range between 2.5 and 10 microns whereas PM2.5 are ultrafine microns smaller than 2.5 microns. As a matter of scale, 2.5 microns is roughly 30 times thinner than the average diameter of human hair. That’s how deceivingly  small those pollutants in that haze cloud can get! For those more keen on the technical computation of the PSI, do check out this link: Computation of PSI

3. What you don’t see are the ones harming your health

We normally associate the sight of fog and smoke to be damaging but the real danger is something we can’t actually see.

singapore haze 2016

Source: As a matter of scientific fact, PM10 constitute mainly dust particles formed when wood and vegetation are burnt. PM2.5 are essentially fine particles that come about from the chemical reactions involving dangerously toxic gases. These small particles appear invisible to the naked eye but it is these particles that pose the greatest threat to your health. And the smaller they get, the greater the danger. Our respiratory system does a pretty decent job at removing dust particles but it does not fare as well in dealing with ultrafine particles smaller than 2.5 microns. Thus PM2.5 particles have a greater chance of getting clogged in lungs and hence pose the greatest health risk among all the particulates in the smoke cloud. Well I guess science proves that size does matter after all!

4. The ‘old’ and ‘new’ PSI

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that matter the most.

singapore haze 2016

PM2.5 particles are somewhat of a new discovery. These little bad guys used to escape the measurement checks and were allusive to the PSI.  It is only recently that a study by NEA showed the existence and the significant threat posed by PM2.5 particles. NEA had to revamp the PSI to include the concentration of PM2.5 particles. Previously, the PSI was based off the average concentration of PM10 particles in the air but the ‘new’ PSI is computed based on the average of PM2.5 concentration levels. Let’s just hope there are no other particles still in the hiding!

5. PM.Haze

What can we as a commoner do to help fight against haze?

haze singapore 2016

I won’t fault you for thinking by now that the term PM is some sort of mastermind villain in this whole haze debacle. But it is not all bad news when it comes to the use of the term PM. PM.Haze is a team of volunteers who are passionate to serve as a voice to drive NGOs, governments and companies to take action towards the common goal of ending haze. They believe that rather than complaining and waiting for the government to solve the problem, they as the people of Singapore can do something to help stop the haze. They are actively taking steps to raise awareness and drive initiatives to gather support to tackle haze. Way to go PM.Haze! For more information on their initiatives and how you as a commoner can help, do check out this link: PM.Haze Watch out for Part 2 where we uncover 5 more things you should know about the haze in Singapore.

ASRETEC is a safety training and solutions company committed towards promoting awareness on workplace and general health and safety. For a full list of courses we provide, click here.

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Top 10 Most Commonly Overlooked Baby Hazards In The Household

baby hazards

Top 10 Most Commonly Overlooked Baby Hazards In The Household

Every parent’s number one concern is the safety of their little ones. It is in the nature of most parents to get overly concerned, occasionally bordering on neurotic and panicky about the slightest possibility of getting their precious baby into accidents. As most moms and dads would profess, “You just can’t take your eyes off of the baby!” Parents would go nuts in making sure every corner of their home is safe and child friendly but no matter how you “baby-proof” your abode, there will always be a possible baby hazard out there waiting to get them an “ouchy.”

How would you prevent your little ones from these hidden dangers? First, of course you have to identify them, and the best way to do so is getting into your little one’s perspective: Get on your knees and hands! Imagine the things they would literally run into and get their hands on.

Here are top ten commonly overlooked baby hazards in the household you should look out for:

1)Toy parts and accessories



Toys and other baby stuff are of course made especially safe for babies, and that they have undergone specific factory and industry standards such as BPA and chemical screening tests before they went out to the market and into your shopping bag. Toys, however, can be a probable hazard to your child and some parents just shrug this fact off thinking that these baby items are absolutely safe to their child just like what the ads are claiming.

Most often, parents do not realize that toys which have the tendency to be smashed, torn, pulled and broken into pieces can be swallowed by accident or fall upon by their child. Toy bicycles for example, have accessories and features like buttons, chains, and built-in rattles. if these parts fall off, there is a tendency that the child might put them their mouths or have their tiny hands stuck into.

The best way to prevent these kinds of accidents to happen is to throw broken or damaged toys immediately– do not ever think that it’s a waste of money. Your expenses can never par up to your child’s safety. It is highly-advisable for those who have kids bellow 14 months not to give their child toys that are prone to swallowing and choking. Examples of these toys are puzzle parts, legos, as well toys that are assembled such as trains and cars. Go for soft toys that are not segmented and cannot be torn easily and broken by your child’s strong hands.   

2)The baby’s sleeping area

2.babysleepareaIt is unknown to many that most cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are found to have occured while the baby sleeps. Babies who are below 12 months are considered high-risk to infant death. Researchers conducting studies on SIDS have not been able to identify any single, specific cause of SIDS up to date and with each varied situations from asphyxiation, to suffocation and very odd cases when the baby just stops breathing. Most parents, especially moms tend to worry about SIDS and just can’t get their heads off from it.

How can parents face these fears and prevent the unlikely from happening? First, one should acknowledge that accidents happen even in intentionally-safe areas of the house such as the nursery room or your baby’s crib. Make sure that bolster pillows and beddings are carefully set up or tucked, preventing it from covering the baby’s face leading to suffocation.

Baby essentials such as feeding bottles and pacifiers should not be left with a sleeping baby nor left hidden under the beddings as it might cause damage to the sensitive backs and necks of infants. Also make sure that bed rails are safe for your baby. Sure, bed rails prevent babies from falling off but they might also bump their wobbly heads and cause injuries to them. Choose sturdy wooden or plastic bed rails that have rubber paddings.

3) Painted walls


Dry, painted walls might appear harmless, but most parents are unaware that paint, even when dry, can cause allergies and asthma among children who might be sensitive to its chemical components. If you have small children at home, always see to it that materials and furnishings in your house are not hazardous to your family’s health. There are paints and finishes that are safe for children and are environment friendly.

4) Wires on chargers, cables (string-like items)

Babies and toddlers like to tug and pull things. Sometimes it includes mommy’s hair and daddy’s key chains. Your little one’s curiousity might urge them to pull a dangling phone charger or wire from the desk. These wires are highly-hazardous and might cause strangulation and injury to babies. Make sure to tie your wires with velcro or cable ties and store them in a storage box with covers to prevent little children from reaching out and playing with them.

5)Furniture-related hazards

It is amazing how little children acquire their motor skills in such a surprising pace. Parents would be in shock seeing their kid climbing up on a chair or glass table in the living room, but that is not the hazard we are trying to stress. While you may easily spot your kid and prevent him or her from falling off the ground, how about your kid running towards a pointed corner? You cannot easily catch that when a toddler is in swift motion.

Pointed corners on chairs, tables, and desks can cause serious injuries to children. Your child’s safety is your priority but of course, you cannot simply live without furniture at home! However, you may choose furnitures that do not have or have less pointed edges, or with foam or rubber paddings on the edges. You can also visit your nearby hardware or home store to get rubber pads or strips with adhesive and stick it to table edges and corners so that if ever your highly-energetic kid runs into it, any potential injury is reduced.    

6)Small common items found in common areas of the house prone to swallowing


At times, you cannot simply say or be confident enough for your child to stay in one area of the house. Babies become more curious as they grow and would always want to seek and try anything new. They are very curious little beings that can outwit you when you are not looking. They might climb out of their playpens and even crawl their way into the living room or your bedroom, and when they catch something that pleases their eyes, they would grab it and put it in their mouths to taste them.

If you have babies and small children at home, make sure that you don’t have any clutter left on the floor or on top of your dresser or table. Small items like AA batteries , coins, jewelries, and other items that can cause choking found in your bedroom or living room should be secured in a place that is not accessible to curious little children.

7) Bookshelves


Bookshelves add character to a bare wall but can also mean danger to your kid. As aesthetically appealing as they can be, bookshelves can be main hazards to your child. Kids might climb on it and books can fall on their head. Worse still, the whole bookshelf may topple over. Try to keep your kids away from them or better yet, do not put them on areas where your child frequents.  

8) Chemicals used for cleaning stored in inappropriate containers


There are stories published in newspapers or in TV wherein children mistake  containers filled with cleansing agent or chemicals as a drink. Yes, it can be a parent’s nightmare when that happens to one’s own child. Some of us are guilty of using water containers and bottles when storing liquids and chemicals used for cleaning such as bleach, liquid soza, etc. If you have small children in your home, and even if you don’t, just simply do not store any hazardous chemicals in water containers or other containers which can be mistaken as a beverage. Just simply don’t. Also, secure those items and store them in a place far from the reach of children.

9) Glass and mirrors


Glass and mirrors are among the most common items in the house– glass windows, glass table tops, glass shelves, mirror decals, and among others. These items can pose a danger to your little ones when not taken well into consideration. Small children can climb on top of glass tabletops in the living room or run into wardrobes and hanged mirrors. Place a rubberised table runner on your glass table tops to lessen pressure and impact in case your kids climb on them. Make sure hung mirrors on wardrobes and in the bedroom are screwed tightly and secured in its place. Also, avoid placing glass items and breakables for display such as figurines on shelves.  

10) Newly polished floors

When a toddler starts walking, they feel amazed on how they are able to reach their milestones, especially on motor skills. They feel challenged and thrilled to try their newly-acquired skills. That’s why they tend to be literally all over the place; running back and forth, jumping and crawling and skipping around, and parents cannot simply stop these little balls of energy from bouncing back and forth!

One of the things parents often overlook is the floor of the house. Whether your flooring might be tiled or made of wood, newly polished floors can be a main hazard to your little one. They can slip and fall on their faces and backs. Worse still, if they have something in their mouths like a pacifier or feeding bottle which they might fall upon . Keep children away from floors which are newly- polished or better yet, place a carpet or rubber mat on areas where your child frequently plays around.

Baby-proofing a home is not an easy job for every parent– either they tend to overlook things like those points mentioned above or overthink things to the point of intervening in the child’s areas of development because of being too scared on compromising the safety of their precious one. The safety of your children shall not simply rely on your own efforts of keeping the house safe and free from hazards but also on proper guidance and instilling discipline within them.     


Various versions have evolved over the years

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