Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Fires at Residential, Non-Residential and Non-Building Premises Respectively to Date in 2021, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 01 November 2021


Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs regarding fires (a) to date in 2021, what are the estimated costs of damage due to fires at residential premises, non-residential premises and non-building places respectively; (b) whether certain households or flat types are more vulnerable to fires; and (c) if so, whether regular inspections, counselling and targeted public education programmes can be provided.


1.   SCDF does not conduct quantitative assessments of the damage sustained arising from fires, thus we are unable to provide the Member with an estimated cost.

2.   Between January and September 2021, there were 778 fires at residential premises, of which 89% (or 693 cases) involved public residential premises and 11% (or 85 cases) involved private residential premises. We are unable to draw any conclusions whether a particular household or flat type is more vulnerable to fire. Fire incidents may happen due to various reasons, such as unattended cooking or indiscriminate disposal of lighted materials such as cigarette butts, and these are independent of the type of household or flat.

3.   After a fire incident at public residential premises, SCDF will conduct door-to-door engagements with residents of the affected blocks to share fire safety tips and assuage concerns. SCDF has also been raising public awareness about fire hazards and sharing fire safety tips with the public through targeted outreach and community events. This includes working with grassroots committees to organise community-level engagement events, which provide hands-on training on the use of fire extinguishers as well as to disseminate fire safety educational materials.

4.   Although the ongoing pandemic situation has disrupted many of the community events, SCDF is working towards resuming these safely. One such event is the Community Resilience Day. A pilot was recently held on 30 October 2021 at the Queenstown constituency, in the form of a hybrid event, with a small number of participants present physically and others joining in virtually.

5.   We strongly encourage members of the public to sign up for these events when they resume on a wider scale.