Fire dept probes supermarkets over renovations

  • Community
  • Saturday, 22 Jul 2017

Supt Abdul Mutalib (third from left) with other personnel from Fire and Rescue Department at the Hari Raya do.

SIBU: Fire and Rescue Department has opened new investigation papers on illegal renovations allegedly carried out by four large supermarkets here.

Central Zone Fire and Rescue Department chief Supt Abdul Mutalib Rashid said modifications made to the premises rendered these buildings unfit for Fire Certificate (FC).

“It is now up to the state Attorney-General to charge the owners in court under the Fire Services Act 1988.

Offenders face a penalty of RM5,000 and a jail sentence. For subsequent offence, the court can order to have the business shut down.

“In fact, owners of most commercial buildings in the town have carried out illegal renovations to their premises to increase their floor space.

“Having an OP (Occupational Permit) does not mean you can do anything you like to the building,” said Supt Abdul Mutalib.

He said before doing renovations their premises, owners needed to submit the plan to the Fire and Rescue Department, which would ensure that the proposed modification complied with the ruling.

“More often than not, owners applied for FC only after carrying out renovation works,” he said.

“There are many buildings in Sibu with illegal extension. These pose high risk if a fire breaks out,” he added.

Supt Abdul Mutalib said owners needed to follow all requirements under the Act when submitting the building plan.

“A supermarket with a built-up of 2,000sq m needs an FC. The same applies for hotels with more than 31 rooms,” he pointed out.

Separately, he said four more fire stations would be set up in the central zone from eight currently.

The upcoming stations are in Tanjung Manis, Daro, Sibu Jaya and Selangau.

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