KUALA LUMPUR: Fires killed 107 people and injured 477 others nationwide last year. The previous year, the number of deaths due to fire was 153 while the number of those injured was 467.
“We responded to 1,263 house fires last year and 1,319 the previous year. To us, every life matters and that is why the public should be aware of certain steps they can take to save themselves,” said Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim.
Wan Mohd Nor said the most important thing to remember in case of a fire was to remain calm.
“Discuss with your family on a rescue plan. It is best to identify different routes to safety,” he said, adding that home owners should also invest in smoke detectors.
He said the routes identified should also be unobstructed.
“Make sure every family member has a set or knows where the keys for the doors and grille locks are,” he said.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said that while grilles were needed for safety reasons, they should not become a trap.
“Grilles should be designed in a way that they can be opened and closed easily,” Lee said.
Master Builders Association Malaysia president Foo Chek Lee said grilles must be able to be unlocked easily.
Foo also urged house owners to conduct regular maintenance and inspection on electrical wirings and gas pipes.