Owners of homes beyond 15 years of age told to conduct electrical wiring inspection

HARIZ MOHD

SHAH ALAM: Owners of residential homes that are beyond 15 years of age are advised to get electrical wiring inspection for their premises, said Selangor Fire and Rescue Department. Its chief Azmi Osman said studies on fire investigation reports revealed that many fires, including those that involved fatalities, were caused by short circuit due to old and unserviced electrical system. "This year alone we saw 14 lives lost in Selangor due to fire mishaps. This is a drastic increase compared to previous years. "After studying these incidents, the department found that most of the cases happened at premises which were over 15 years of age, some more than 20 years. "While it is costly to have thorough checks, it is still nothing compared to what one can lose in case of fire, including valuables and even lives of loved ones. "My advice is that those who own old premises should engage experts to have their premises checked. The same also goes to other buildings, including those owned and operated by government agencies," Azmi told reporters during an event at Darul Tahfiz Ummul Qura tahfiz school in Batu 7 1/2 Jalan Kebun here today. He was there for a fire safety programme with tahfiz students and community members, which also saw him launching Bukit Rimau and Jalan Kebun Residents Representative Committee's (JPPs) MyBomba initiative. Also present at the event, organised by the resident committees together with Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT), were Kota Raja Umno division chief Datuk Kamaruzzaman Johari, officials from the ministry as well as Selangor fire officers. Azmi said the department had also found that many cases which involved fatalities were premises that were fitted with grills that could not be opened from inside, thus preventing victims from escaping. Asked about safety checks on tahfiz institutions in the state, Azmi said the department had so far inspected a total of 283 schools, 245 of which were registered with authorities. The others were not registered. "We are now going all out to identify and conduct checks on other schools which are not registered, by engaging community members for information. "For the ones we have checked, the department has given our advice and notices for them to comply with safety requirements as stipulated by our laws. "They have a certain amount of time to comply, per case by case basis. But if we find they have failed to adhere to our notices, we will start enforcement," he said, adding that all reports from tahfiz school inspections had been sent to KPKT and presented to the prime minister. On the event, Kamaruzzaman said MyBomba initiative by Jalan Kebun and Bukit Rimau JPPs was a good move to increase awareness among community members of fire safety. He said residents of Jalan Kebun and Bukit Rimau, including students and teachers of tahfiz schools there, would receive training from the department on how to prevent fire and how to prevent the blaze from spreading while waiting for firemen. The tahfiz students were shown how to use fire extinguishers and hose reels to put off fire, and were also given a chance to try the firefighting equipment themselves. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd