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Department: RM496 million lost to Sabah fires last year
Published on: Monday, February 26, 2024
By: Jeremy S Zabala
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Department: RM496 million lost to Sabah fires last year
Razak during the launching of the Chinese New Year Fire Safety Campaign, at ITCC, recently.
PENAMPANG: Public are reminded to remain vigilant to prevent unwanted scenarios, particularly involving fires, during the festive season.

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department Director Abdul Razak Muda said 2,490 fire calls were recorded last year in Sabah compared to only 1,462 in 2022, an increase of 70 per cent and estimated total loss of RM496,475,120.69.

“A total of 431 fire calls involving buildings occurred during the 2023 Chinese New Year Ops period, 22 cases were recorded involving buildings,” he said, after launching the Chinese New Year Fire Safety Campaign, at ITCC, here.

Also present were Sabah Fire and Rescue Department Deputy Director Farhan Sufyan Borhan, Fire and Rescue Department State Operations Assistant Direcor Hamsah Isnurdini and Penampang Police Chief Supt Sammy Newton.

Due to the growing numbers of fires the department would emphasise safety and fire prevention operations through inspections and Fire Hazards Elimination (MBK) activities to buildings or premises that have been identified as risky.

“Shopping centres were previously the focus but this time the inspections will be at resorts and homestays.”

He said the incidents usually occur at night not just due to faulty wiring in squatters, but also due to firecrackers.

Razak said there are 491 buildings in Sabah categorised as “Premise Defined” or high risk and should obtain their Fire Certificates (FC).

“Some 284 buildings do have Fire Certificates, while 207 are in the notice compliance period.

“Last year, we implemented a Closure Order involving Section 13, Act 341 on a premise in Lahad Datu while seven other premises were fined for failing to comply with the Department’s provision of Act 341, 1988.”

Razak said 80 per cent of 1,082 fire and rescue personnel along with 1,400 auxiliary firefighters across Sabah were on duty throughout the Chinese New Year Safety Ops (Ops Selamat Tahun Baru Cina). 

“Officers on duty will also deal with fires in peatland and forest areas which have increased since the beginning of this year,” he said.

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