Wiring check a must in public buildings

  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 08 Oct 2019

Old wiring resulted in thick smoke that led to the emergency evacuation of patients at Lawas Hospital in north Sarawak late last month. — Photo courtesy of Lawas Fire and Rescue Department

MIRI: Checks on the wiring system of public buildings must be made mandatory, especially for hospitals and schools.

Lawas Progressive Democratic Party division chief Datuk Nelson Balang Rining said the recent fire scare at the Lawas Hospital in northern Sarawak showed that wiring systems could be a fire risk.

“In Sarawak, there are many hospitals, clinics and schools that were built decades ago.

“Some of them are 50 years old. Most are located in rural districts and cater to big crowds daily,” he said, adding that there was a need to make sure these places undergo compulsory wiring checks periodically.

“Experience has shown that wiring problems were often the cause of fires in buildings,” he told StarMetro.

On Sept 26, thick smoked filled the Lawas Hospital, forcing an emergency evacuation of patients at around 6.30pm.

The minor fire scare was traced to a wiring problem.

A check with the Lawas Fire and Rescue Department showed that the air-conditioning unit in one of the hospital treatment rooms suffered a short-circuit.

“There were no flames, only thick smoke but the patients were evacuated as a safety precaution.

“Firemen went to the scene and made sure there were no fire risks,” said a Fire and Rescue Department spokesman.

No one was injured in the incident. The patients were allowed back into their wards after the smoke cleared.

Lawas Hospital was built almost 50 years ago.

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