Bill to make fire extinguishers compulsory in households expected to be tabled in Nov

Khirudin (second left) presenting an appreciation certificate to Sarawak Energy Sibu manager, Effendy Syaiful.

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By William Isau

SIBU, July 5: A motion to make it compulsory for households to have a fire extinguisher is expected to be tabled in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting in November.

Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director Datuk Khirudin Drahman said today that the matter was related to him by Public Health, Housing, and Local Government Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“I was told by Public Health, Housing, and Local Government Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim that he will be tabling the matter in the next State Legislative Assembly sitting,” said Khirudin.

The mandatory ownership of fire extinguishers, he said, would be provided under the Sarawak Building Ordinance.

Speaking at a press conference after officiating at the closing of a Celik Suri programme, he said by owning at least one fire extinguisher, households will be able to advocate the 3Ps—precaution, prevention and protection.

He however advised households not to wait for the bill to be passed before getting a fire extinguisher.

“By having fire extinguishers, residents can also prevent small fires from becoming big. Between 2 to 5 per cent of fires start from the kitchen. Due to the distance between the fire station and homes, a fire extinguisher is helpful to prevent a big fire from happening,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Khirudin said the number of households in Sarawak which had fire extinguishers is still quite low.

“For the past eight years, I have been talking about the importance of owning a fire extinguisher but with little success. Why go for an expensive sofa, tv or expensive make-up kit but put a fire extinguisher in the back seat? (sic) There is no law that says you must buy an expensive sofa,” he added.

The Celik Suri programme was held in collaboration with Sarawak Energy Berhad to train housewives in basic fire safety and preventive exercises, with particular attention on kitchen and food preparation areas as these are places where fires are likely to first break out, based on many longhouse fire cases. — DayakDaily