Updated: 08/21/2014 00:30

Dry spell contributed to more fires in first half of the year

Dry spell contributed to more fires in first half of the year

The Singapore Civil Defence Force, SCDF, were kept busy in the first half this year. 

They were called out to more fires and also handed out more summonses for fire safety violations. 

In a mid-year update, the SCDF said its officers were asked to attend to some 2,350 fires between January and June this year. 

That's 19 per cent more than the number of fires they attended to in the same period last year. 

Vegetation fires contributed to the increase, given that the period between January and March was drier than usual. 

There were 530 vegetation fires, the highest number for six months since 2005. 

Fires at rubbish bins and chutes as well as vehicle fires also increased. 

But the number of fires at residential and commercial premises fell. 

The SCDF expressed concerns over the 34 fires which broke out in hawker stalls, coffeeshops and restaurants. 

They made up 24 per cent of all fires in commercial premises. 

SCDF said it had also stepped up its enforcement efforts and conducted close to 7,000 checks in the first half of the year. 

As a result, about 50 per cent more warning letters in the form of Fire Hazard Abatement Notices were issued. 

They'd also issued 1,400 summons for more serious violations. 

And to help the deaf and speech-impaired get in touch with them in emergencies, SCDF had also launched an SMS service. 

There're currently 1,300 registered users. 

Users must register with one of three organisations, including the Singapore Association for the Deaf and TOUCH Community Services. 

-By Lee Gim Siong

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