Fire incidents fall to 15-year low, non-emergency calls up by 28 per cent: SCDF

Firefighters from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at Tuas Basin Link, where a fire broke out at a factory at about 11pm on May 22, 2013. The SCDF says the number of fire incidents in Singapore fell to a 15-year low for the first half of the
Firefighters from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at Tuas Basin Link, where a fire broke out at a factory at about 11pm on May 22, 2013. The SCDF says the number of fire incidents in Singapore fell to a 15-year low for the first half of the year. - NP FILE PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

The number of fire incidents in Singapore fell to a 15-year low for the first half of the year.

There were 2,125 fires between January and June, a drop of 3.1 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the half-yearly fire incident statistics released by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Friday.

The average figure for the same period in the past 15 years was 2,487 cases.

The SCDF classifies fires by risk, from minor risk fires like chute fires which are unlikely to spread or cause injuries, moderate risk fires to major risk fires such as those in factories and refineries. Fire incidents have fallen across all three risk categories in first half of the year compared to the same period last year.

At the same time, the number of 995 calls - both emergency and non-emergency in nature - have continued to rise, a trend that the agency has observed since it started tracking the statistic in 1997. There were 76,024 ambulance calls in the first half of this year, 5,895 more than the same period last year.

The bulk of the calls - over 96 per cent - were for emergencies, such as heart attacks and road traffic accidents. However, non-emergency calls that the SCDF received, such as for cuts and toothache, have risen by over 28 per cent, or 314 calls.