Stop press! 13 government buildings in the state have no fire certificate (FC)!

SGH Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, March 30: Thirteen government buildings that are categorised under ‘designated building’ in the state, including Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), SGH Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan, Wisma Bapa Malaysia and Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, do not have Fire Certificate (FC)!

According to the state Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), to get an FC, the ‘designated building’ has to meet certain criteria, including establishing a Building Fire Committee (OKK) consisting of management and a fire safety manager.

Under the Fire Services Act 1988, there are nine categories of premises that are required to have FC — libraries, hospitals, hotels, hostels, offices, shops, factories, assembly and storage areas.

State Bomba director Khirudin Drahman told DayakDaily that these 13 premises have been given until the end of this year to get their FC because there are many passive and active systems that needed to be maintained before being certified.

“The FC is important because the fire department will conduct a thorough inspection of the building’s safety system, such as fire alarm equipment, fire extinguishers and emergency routes. This is to ensure it works and can be used in the event of a fire,” he said, adding that the department wanted people to be more responsible towards their own safety and task.

Errant owners who fail to get an FC could be charged under the Fire Services Act, which provides for a fine of RM50,000 or five years’ jail or both, upon conviction.

Meanwhile, as many as 30 government premises, including 16 hospitals, Sarawak Police Contingent (IPK) and the State Stadium, have been told to comply with the removal of fire hazard (MBK).

Examples of MBK are minimum two exits or staircase, good housekeeping and maintenance of the premises.

As for hospitals, apparently not all are required to have FC because of the size and location, especially those in the rural districts.

Although they are not required to have FC, they must comply with MBK, which could cause any untoward accidents.

These 30 premises have been given the notice to comply, and failing to do so, they would be taken to court.

“Bomba is taking this matter seriously. The enforcement is not intended to complicate any quarters, including the ministries, punish or incite any party, but to increase the level of security and reduce the risk of undesirable events because the value of their lives in government buildings is also worth the same as those in private buildings.

“We give the owners time to meet the criteria that have been set, but if they still fail, a warning notice will be given, then the court action if they still refuse,” Khirudin highlighted.— DayakDaily