Dry spells in first quarter gave rise to more fires last year

ROBIN CHOO Today Online 30 Jan 15;

SINGAPORE — The number of fire incidents last year rose 14.2 per cent, from 4,136 cases in 2013 to 4,724 cases. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) largely attributed the increase to a spike in vegetation fires during the extended dry spell between January and March last year.

However, there was 2.2 per cent decrease in residential fires to 2,888 cases as compared to 2,952 the year before. This due in part to a fall in number of fires involving discarded items, according to the SCDF today.

The SCDF also noted a 17.5 percent rise in rubbish chute and rubbish bin fires, from 1,289 cases in 2014 to 1,514 cases the year before. It remains the largest category of residential fires, constituting 52.4 per cent of total residential fires.

Meanwhile, the total number of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls increased by 3.7 per cent. There were 155,781 calls year, up from 150,155 in 2013. The SCDF attributed the increase to the growing demand for ambulance services from an ageing population.