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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 3:15:13 PM
by yu ji
Celebratory: (From left) Nor Hisham with Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang at the department’s Hari Raya gathering in Kota Samarahan.
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Cases of fires involving longhouses this year have increased by 29% compared to the same period last year, according to latest statistics from the Fire and Rescue Department.
Year to date, 11 cases involving 14 longhouses have occurred. At first glance, the number may seem
rather small but in actuality, the number of “doors” burned down is 198 units.
Over the same period last year, 10 cases of longhouse fires were reported, involving 154 doors.
The department estimated losses from these fires this year to be at RM12.88mil. It also roughly calculated about RM6.7mil worth of valuables were either saved or salvaged.
The data, released yesterday during the department’s Hari Raya gathering here, showed that two had died in longhouse fires this year.
Its state chief Nor Hisham Mohd told reporters that investigations of the cases had pointed out that human negligence as the main cause.
“The number of doors has increased by so much. Naturally, this worries us. Of the 11 cases, five were directly caused by cooking activity. People know cooking can cause fire, so it was human negligence.
“Four other cases were either due to faulty electrical wiring or overloading of circuits. The statistics tell us that we need to urge people to
be more careful. We are going to bring awareness programmes to
rural areas. Our advice is very
simple — never leave the cooking unattended.”
On fires caused by overloading of circuits, Nor Hisham believed increasing household income was partly to be blamed.
“As people have more money to spend, they would buy new electrical goods without realising that the old wires in the longhouse cannot handle that much electricity. It’s very unfortunate when that happens.”
He said fires involving longhouses were common as mirrored by the cases reported in 2011.
“Last year, we were so happy because incidents were fewer. Unfortunately, it seems to go back
to square one this year. I hope the trend would not continue into next year.”
On a related matter, the department’s “Ops Raya” from Aug 1 to 18 recorded 199 emergency calls statewide, of which 110 were fire-related while the remainder were rescue or special requests cases.
The number of cases throughout the 18 days increased by 14.6% but with a decrease of 39% in residential fires.
Tags / Keywords:
East Malaysia, fire
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