Fires are unfortunate events that can harm people and property, and they can occur without any notice. Unlike other catastrophic disasters, however, fires can be easily prevented or, at the very least, acted on quickly to minimise the damage they cause. This is achieved by having fire safety awareness. In this article, we outline the need for fire safety management in Singapore and why its significance remains relevant today and well into the future.

Understanding the need for fire safety awareness and training

When a fire unexpectedly occurs, the lack of knowledge on how to deal with the situation may lead to people behaving erratically, resulting in them endangering themselves and those around them. Fire safety awareness courses prevent this by providing the essential know-how in the proper steps when responding to a fire. This includes ways in which they can help put down the fire using tools like fire extinguishers or save themselves and others before the firefighters arrive.

A fire extinguisher can mean the difference between saving lives and a full-blown disaster in places like commercial buildings and households. Hence, the need to be trained on operating such tools and verifying if the specific type available is the right one for the job is imperative. Although everyone should immediately call-in specialised services in the case of an emergency, having properly trained individuals on the scene can serve a lot to prevent the fire’s spread and minimise its intensity.

Learning about flammable materials 

Fire safety awareness also includes learning about all the different kinds of flammable materials. Knowledge about them ensures they get stored properly and away from any source of flame. In addition, learning about these materials also helps care for the environment. Flammable items usually come in special containers marked with signs. They should be kept away in places with limited access to prevent people like employees in the office and children at home from reaching them.

Fire incident statistics in Singapore

According to the annual statistics published by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on 11th February 2022, the previous year saw a 4.2?crease in fire incidents in non-building places and residential premises. Other noteworthy insights cover the leading cause of fires in 2021, the top one being fires of electrical origin, which amounted to a total of 588 cases -- rising by 2.7% from the previous year. They were mostly due to electrical appliances igniting near flammable materials and faulty wiring. The second leading cause was cooking activities with a total of 408 cases, followed by “dropped light” fires stemming from embers from incense sticks, charcoal and cigarette butts that were still lit.

On the other hand, the SCDF recorded more fire incidents at around 415 cases in non-residential areas, a 7.5% increase from 2020. Fires in commercial premises also arose by 21.1%, while industrial premises experienced 0.8% more fire incidents. 

Final word

While fire incidents may drop in certain cases, they will often be equalised in a rise in other areas. In short, fires continue to be a threat even today, and it is vital to have fire safety awareness to learn how to handle such incidents. If you are a fire safety manager looking to do more to raise fire safety awareness, improve your skills and gain
FSM CPD points, we are here to help.

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