IPOH: The Fire and Rescue Department has been instructed to carry out a massive operation to check over 400,000 fire hydrants in the country to ensure it is functioning properly, especially during emergencies, says Nga Kor Ming.
The Housing and Local Government Minister said there were a total of 351,000 hydrants belonging to the government, and 65,000 belonging to the private sector in Malaysia.
“We have enough fire hydrants, in Perak alone, there are 45,000 hydrants, but it is important to carry out checks often to see if the hydrants are actually working properly.
“There are scheduled checks being carried out by the 337 fire stations nationwide, but starting today, the efforts must be intensified to make sure that the pressure from the hydrants is adequate.
“I have instructed the department’s director-general Datuk Nor Hisham Mohamamad to look into the matter, and to carry out the operation” he told reporters after visiting the Pasir Putih wet market near here that was razed in a fire at early Tuesday (Feb 13) morning.
Nga also urged everyone to be alert, especially with the hot weather that could increase the risk of fires.
He also suggested that all owners of old buildings, especially those 50 years old and above to ensure that the wiring system is checked regularly.
“Just like how humans need to carry out medical check-ups, aged old buildings too need regular checks, as after 30 years, the wiring system has a risk of catching fire,”he added.
On the incident, he said the 67-year-old market was razed in the fire, with 90% of the structure damaged.
He said there were some 70 traders affected, and that the government would find ways to help them.
“Under the emergency funds, each trader for now will receive RM1,500 each by tomorrow (Feb 14).
“After this, I will ask the Ipoh City Council and the Fire Department to forward the report on the cause of the fire.
“I urge all parties not to speculate on the fire, as the department’s K9 unit is on its way, and until and unless we get the real story, please don’t not make matters worse by mere speculation,” he added.
Nga said once the report is out, he would fast track providing allocations to rebuild the market as soon as possible.