Public awareness on water safety still low, says Fire Dept DG

KUALA LUMPUR: Public awareness on water safety is still low with 300 cases of drowning recorded in the past year, showing that water-related deaths were higher than death caused by fire which amounted to 130 deaths.

Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said demographically, it is estimated that 60 per cent of the victims in drowning deaths were aged between nine and 39 years old.

"Therefore, the Fire and Rescue Department and Water Activities Safety Council will work together to create an awareness and practical programme for the community, on how to save oneself or a victim in the event of an emergency in the water,” he said.

He said this after attending a one-day event with the Fire and Rescue Department and the Kuala Lumpur Fire Prevention Organisation at the Hang Tuah Fire and Rescue Station here Saturday (Feb 4), which was also attended by Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department director Nordin Pauzi.

In addition, he said the Fire and Rescue Department will also increase public awareness regarding safety at home because many people think that home is the safest of places.

"In reality, that impression is wrong because a home can be the most dangerous place if we are not careful, considering the many electrical appliances and kitchen equipment in use, which can be the cause of fire, for example when charging the mobile phone excessively or forgetting to turn off the fire (and gas) after cooking,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hamdan said it was estimated that around RM3.2bil worth of property was destroyed by fire throughout the country last year or an average of RM180,000 per day.

"The total value in loss of property destroyed by fire is a big waste if it is not contained. This is because the value can be used for other needs (opportunity cost), including helping the low-income group (B40),” he said. - Bernama

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