103 fire-related calls in 2020: FRD

James Kon

Statistics from the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) show that there were 103 fire-related emergency calls made in 2020.

Sixty-nine of those calls were about house fires, while 34 were about building fires.

The FRD also received 23 fire-related calls from January to March 2021, of which 11 were on house fires and 12 on building fires.

Often, the leading cause of house and building fires is electrical malfunctions such as overloading, overheating, short circuits, loose connection and wiring.

Other causes include unattended cooking, a loose or leaky LPG hose, children playing with fire and cigarette butts.

“Fires can occur at any time, without any regard for the type of house or building. As long as there are safety lapse elements, fire incidents in residential houses or buildings will continue to occur or increase,” the FRD said in a statement.

Firefighters put out a house fire. PHOTO: FRD

“Most of the houses that are not equipped with fire prevention equipment, such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke detectors, will be more exposed to the risks of fire. The risks are further aggravated if there are no positive steps taken by the house occupants.

“Better awareness and fire prevention equipment can reduce the rate of losses, injuries and also deaths from being trapped a house fire.

“A responsible individual should not overlook safety aspects, especially in fire prevention.

“Therefore, early preventive measures are necessary, not just when performing the fast and celebrating the arrival of Hari Raya. In fact, it should be made into a daily safety practice.”

The FRD again reminded members of the public to make sure that their homes are equipped with fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke detectors.

Homeowners need to make sure that electricity usage is constantly under control, and to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use.

Cooking must not be left unattended, while gas regulators and LPG hoses should be set according to proper standards.