The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to 2,406 fire calls in the first six months of 2015, a fall of 5 per cent compared to the 2,532 cases in the same period last year, it said in its mid-year fire, ambulance and enforcement statistics report released on Tuesday (Aug 25).
Rubbish fires remain the top reason for fires at residential premises, accounting for 54.6 per cent, or 801, of cases. In terms of highest contributing cause of fires, dropped light cases remained tops, the SCDF said.
There were 64 casualties from fire incidents in the first half of the year, with smoke inhalation cases the main cause of these casualties. The number of fatalities doubled to 4, from the 2 during the same period last year, the report showed.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ON THE RISE
As for its Emergency Medical Services, SCDF said it responded to 81,686 ambulance calls during the six-month period, which represented a 7.4 per cent increase over the same period last year.
Emergency calls made up more than 94 per cent of the total calls responded, and while the total number of non-emergency calls remained low, it has more than doubled during the same period, according to the report.
It added that it was "concerned" over a rise in the number of cases where its EMS personnel have been abused by patients, family members and friends of patients. There were 10 reported cases of abuse during the first six months, compared to six in the same period last year, SCDF said.
"These cases involved EMS personnel being verbally and/or physically abused while attending to patients," SCDF said. "Our EMS personnel save lives by providing critical emergency medical care. SCDF does not condone any forms of physical or verbal abuse against our officers and will lodge police reports if any of its personnel is abused."
MORE CHECKS CONDUCTED
In terms of fire safety enforcement checks, the SCDF conducted 8,244 such checks in the first six months of the year - an increase of 18 per cent from the 6,985 checks last year.
"This was due to an increase in public feedback on fire safety violations received through the mySCDF mobile app and also more scheduled enforcement checks conducted by the SCDF," the report said.
The authorities issued 1,850 Notices of Fire Safety Offence during the six-month period, which was an increase of 34.1 per cent from the 1,380 issued over the same period last year, according to the statistics.
"The public plays an important role in reporting fire safety violations. The SCDF remains committed to working closely with the community to ensure that the number of fire incidents in Singapore remains low," SCDF said.