On Assignment
Five Things to Know About Life-saving Trends in 2017
A higher demand for Emergency Medical Services, with fewer fire calls – here’s what you need to know about Fire, Ambulance and Enforcement Statistics 2017.

1. The SCDF responded to more EMS calls in 2017 than it did in 2016

4,348 more calls, to be exact. The SCDF’s EMS attended to 182,502 calls in 2017, 2.4% more than in 2016. Of the emergency calls made in 2017, close to 76% of the calls were medical-related (e.g. to do with chest pain, breathlessness, unconsciousness and cardiac arrest). Calls involving the elderly (those aged 65 and above) remained the highest among all age categories, at nearly 42%.


2. One area of concern: Non-emergency calls

On average, the SCDF responded to 30 non-emergency calls a day in 2017. If we add false alarms calls, about 10% of the calls the SCDF responded to in 2017 were not actual emergencies.

Non-emergency calls take away critical medical assets that should be deployed for actual emergencies. To reduce such calls, the SCDF will continue to reach out to the public and raise awareness about the difference between non-emergencies and emergency medical cases. 

3. There were fewer fire calls in 2017

Fire calls – fire incidents where SCDF firefighters are deployed – hit a 40-year-low in 2017. This was mainly due to fewer rubbish, vehicle and vegetation fires last year.


The leading cause of fires last year was “dropped light cases” (indiscriminate disposal of lighted materials such as lighted cigarette butts and charcoal) followed by those caused by electrical origins. The good news is there was 14% fewer rubbish fires in 2017, and 25% of all rubbish fires were extinguished by alert members of the public, even before the SCDF arrived.

There were also fewer fire injuries in 2017, with smoke inhalation and burns being the most common.

4. There were more fires involving electric scooters 

In 2017, there were 40 fire incidents involving electric scooters, a 344% jump from the nine cases reported in 2016.

Electric scooters, electric bicycles and other personal mobility devices are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are made of flammable internal materials. Rechargeable batteries are prone to overcharging if left unattended, and this can result in battery swelling, triggering a fire.

To raise awareness and prevent such accidents, the SCDF has worked with SPRING Singapore to produce a brochure on “Fire Safety Tips on Preventing Battery Fires” which is given to residents during community events.

5. Upholding fire safety standards

Enforcement checks are crucial to ensuring that fire safety standards for buildings remain high. In 2017, the SCDF’s enforcement checks resulted in 2,543 Fire Hazard Abatement Notices and 2,845 Notices of Fire Safety Offences being issued.


110 fire safety violations were also brought to Court in 2017, with the majority of offences (53.6%) for unauthorised change of use, followed by unauthorised fire safety works (at 33.6%).

For more on the SCDF’s Fire, Ambulance and Enforcement Statistics 2017, visit this page.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 13 February 2018
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