Recognition of human movements is very useful for several applications, such as smart rooms, interactive virtual reality systems, human detection and environment modeling. The objective of this work focuses on the detection and classification of falls based on variations in human silhouette shape, a key challenge in computer vision. Falls are a major health concern, specifically for the elderly. In this study, the detection is achieved with a multivariate exponentially weighted moving average (MEWMA) monitoring scheme, which is effective in detecting falls because it is sensitive to small changes. Unfortunately, an MEWMA statistic fails to differentiate real falls from some fall-like gestures. To remedy this limitation, a classification stage based on a support vector machine (SVM) is applied on detected sequences. To validate this methodology, two fall detection datasets have been tested: the University of Rzeszow fall detection dataset (URFD) and the fall detection dataset (FDD). The results of the MEWMA-based SVM are compared with three other classifiers: neural network (NN), naïve Bayes and K-nearest neighbor (KNN). These results show the capability of the developed strategy to distinguish fall events, suggesting that it can raise an early alert in the fall incidents.