Fire risk to children below 5 years old five times higher

Khirudin feeding a piece of birthday cake to one of the children.

By Nancy Nais

SERIAN, Oct 24: Children under the age of five are at the highest risk of injuries and death from fire, which is five times higher in the national average.

State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director Khirudin Drahman said the statistic is based on a study conducted in the United States.

“The study has shown that almost 500 children under 14 years old died in house fires, while a total of 116,600 suffered from fire injuries every year.

“Therefore, Bomba is constantly looking for alternatives, as well as best practices for awareness and education on fire safety to all levels of the society including children,” he said at the 3K (Kelab Keselamatan Kanak-Kanak) convention at Serian fire station today.

A total of 100 children, accompanied by 20 teachers from 10 kindergarten schools in the district attended the programme.

Throughout the session, they were thought on both theory and practical in fun method such as “stop, drop and roll” and “stay low and crawl”. They also practised fire drill with their teachers.

“Through these fun modules, children will feel the excitement of learning, exposed to dangers of fire as well as what to do when fire happen,” he said.

Khirudin presenting the colouring contest prize to one of the winners.

Khirudin added that children under the age of 14 are at the curious stage, exploring the world by trying something new or extraordinary from their normal routine, which included activities that can be detrimental, such as playing with lighters, matches, candles, burning things or even fireworks and firecrackers.

“This is why the department establish 3K Children Club, as we are serious and we will continue to emphasise on educating our young generation, especially those who are at kindergarten level on fire awareness,” he said.

The Bomba Sarawak Zone 2 covers fire stations in Serian, Kota Samarahan, Siburan and Simunjan.

As of October this year, the four stations have formed a total of 64 “3K clubs” with 1,680 members. — DayakDaily