Beware of items that can spark fires, public warned

SEREMBAN: Those planning to put up decorative lights or make kuih using ovens this Hari Raya Aidilfitri must ensure these products are certified safe by Sirim.

Negri Sembilan Fire and Rescue Department director Hamdan Ali said this is important to prevent fires which can be caused by inferior-quality products.

“Electrical items, including extension wires, must meet certain safety standards. It is pointless to buy cheaper ones as these can become fire hazards, ” he said.

Hamdan said Sirim-approved products were not necessarily expensive.

“It may cost a little more than the cheap imported products but it is safe, ” he said.

He was responding to efforts taken by the department to educate people on ways to prevent fires especially during the festive season.

Hamdan also advised people to check the electrical wiring at their homes.

This, he said, was one of the major causes of fires.

“Many fires are caused by old wiring. If it has been years since your wiring was last changed, you may want to get a licensed wireman to check it out, ” he said.

Hamdan said many fires were caused due to negligence.

Citing an example, he said certain ovens could only be used for a specific amount of time in a day but many were ignorant of this fact.

“They will keep using the oven to make kuih late into the night and this can cause fires.

“Some users, fatigued throughout the day making kuih, would leave these electrical items switched on and again, they can cause fires, ” he said.

Hamdan also advised parents to always keep an eye on their children at all times even if they were playing with sparklers.

“Some children have the tendency to throw the sparklers anywhere they like and it can catch fire.

In Penang, lack of awareness on fire hazards is among the reasons why fire incidents continue to happen during the festive season, said state Fire and Rescue Department director Saadon Mokhtar.

He added that ignorance of the safety aspects was our greatest enemy. “It usually occurs when someone does not take the warning seriously, or simply ignores it totally, ” he said when contacted yesterday.

Saadon said from January until March this year, a total of 111 premises were screened to ensure that the building’s fire safety equipment were in good order and following all the safety guidelines.

Meanwhile, state police deputy chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Majid reminded the public not to light firecrackers during the celebration as it is unlawful.

“Those caught selling or playing with firecrackers can be charged under Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957, which carries a maximum seven-year jail term, RM10,000 fine, or both, if convicted, ” he said, adding that the public should report to the nearest police station if they found anybody selling firecrackers, or fireworks.

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