Take actions against premise owners flouting Fire and Services Act 1988

Mohd Azam Shah Yaacob

KUALA LUMPUR: Urgent and strict action must be taken against individual or quarters using premises for commercial purposes without obtaining a Fire Certificate as required under the Fire Services Act 1988. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said he was shocked to learn from media reports that a total of 2,845 premises of more than 10-storey high around the country have no FC. Lee said he was also surprised that these buildings include public facilities such as hotels, houses, offices and shopping malls. “Among the reasons why these buildings did not get FC include failure to meet technical safety specifications such as lack of fire exits, fire extinguishers and firefighting equipment,” he said in a statement today. To avoid any untoward incident in the future, Lee urged the authorities and owners of these premises to conduct periodic safety audits, which should involve thorough inspection on electrical wiring in buildings and facilities. He said annual audit must also be carried out or all buildings over 20 years old. “The authorities conducting such inspections need to identify the level of safety including fire hazards, which may be caused by old wiring and flammable building materials. “The audit will also be able to identify the weaknesses of the safety aspect of the existing buildings and facilities. “This will enable building owners to take immediate action improving the safety aspects at these premises,” he said. Problems related to wiring and electricity, Lee said topped the list of causes of fire in Malaysia, with more than 5,300 cases recorded from 2014 to 2016. He said statistic by Fire and Rescue Department statistics showed that 877 similar cases were reported in the first seven months of last year. “Hence, NIOSH is ready to assist in raising awareness on safety aspect at government and private premises. “ Our subsidiary, NIOSH Certification Sdn Bhd, has the expertise to carry out security audits in accordance with local and international standards,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd