Let’s end careless attitudes towards fire safety, urges state fire chief

Khirudin speaking at the Bomba Children Fire Safety Club convention.

by Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Nov 14: Lackadaisical attitudes towards fire prevention and safety within the community must be put to a stop, asserts Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director Khirudin Drahman.

This includes the attitudes of organisations or premises owners who do not care to comply with safety regulations.

Citing house fire cases, Khirudin said most people take it lightly or for granted that fires will not happen to them or believing that God would protect them.

Firm with his words, Khirudin emphasised: “Take responsibility and stop pointing fingers or blaming others when a fire disaster occurs.

“Have you ever ask, why and how did a fire disaster occur? What was the root of it? Generally, no one in their right mind will invite fire to destroy their properties or kill lives (except those with criminal intention). Fire happens because of our own carelessness,” he said at the launch of the Bomba Children Fire Safety Club convention today.

He also emphasised to those present that firefighting is always a losing battle.

“When a house fire occurs, you will lose everything in it. That is still alright because we can slowly replace items. But when lives are lost, we cannot replace that,” he added.

Group photo of kindergarten students and their teachers with firefighters after the Bomba Children Fire Safety Club convention.

Another example he shared was the mindset of people who don’t mind spending hundreds per month for cable TV services but are reluctant to purchase fire extinguishers that cost less than RM200 per unit for their homes.

“How many of you here subscribe to ASTRO? How many of you here have a fire extinguisher at home? Can ASTRO help you put out a fire which starts small?” he asked, adding that this kind of ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude must change.

He also reminded parents, guardians and teachers who attended the convention to improve their supervision to protect their families and property.

A total of 538 children from various kindergartens around Petra Jaya constituency attended the event, accompanied by 53 teachers and parents.

Bomba has set up fire safety clubs for children as part of its initiative to raise awareness towards practising fire safety.

Khirudin has been strongly advocating that fire safety education must be taught from a very early age to children so that they understand the dangers of fire.

Pointing out that the initiative has been successful in Kuala Lumpur, he said this was necessary since most fire-related deaths were due to curious children playing with fire or delays in detecting fire.

The learning sessions are tailored to be simple yet fun for children between the ages of five and seven, where they learn how to ‘stop, drop and roll’, ‘stay low and crawl’ and other fire drills with their teachers as well as take a ride in fire trucks.

They are also exposed to knowledge about fire hazards as well as actions to be taken in the event of a fire including means of escape. — DayakDaily