SEBERANG PERAI, Sept 11 — Housing and local government minister Zuraida Kamaruddin today proposed that new guidelines are drawn to study the setting up of more fire stations at every township.
She said there is a need for more fire stations at highly dense areas and townships to cater to the people especially when there are emergencies, disasters or accidents.
“I will look into a guideline on setting up a Class D fire station for every area with more than 10,000 residents,” she said in a press conference after visiting the Penang Fire and Rescue Department headquarters in Batu Kawan here.
A Class D fire station, with trained personnel and officers, will be able to cater to a residential area with a population of 10,000 people.
There are different classes of fire stations where Class A is for industrial and high risk zones while Class D is for residential lower risk zones.
Zuraida said having a fire station in every residential area with more than 10,000 people will allow front-liners to reach the site of an incident within a shorter period of time.
“This is especially crucial for places like Penang where there is rapid development and increased population in some areas,” she said.
Zuraida said she will get feedback from stakeholders and the Fire and Rescue Department to look at an overall restructuring of the department nationwide.
She said this restructuring will look at how to merge the Fire and Rescue Department services with the respective departments under the housing and local government ministry for efficiency.
“Currently, there are no guidelines on where to set up fire stations and how many to set up,” she said.
“Most of the stations set up were based on proposals by respective local government and state governments depending on land availability,” she added.
Instead of depending on proposals and applications by respective states, she said a fixed guideline on the setting up of fire stations will ensure no areas are missed out.