FRD received 166 calls for structure fire in 2020

James Kon

The Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) received 166 calls for structure (house and building) fires in 2020, statistics revealed.

The majority of the calls were from the Brunei-Muara District (118), followed by the Belait District (25), the Tutong District (17) and the Temburong District (six). No fatalities were recorded in the fire incidents.

Forty-eight or 29 per cent of the calls were about electrical fires caused by faults in the main or distributor switchboard, incoming cable overloads and fuse cutouts.

Thirty-four calls were about fires caused by human error or negligence, such as unattended cooking, bonfires and candles, as well as by children playing with fire. In addition, 26 calls were about fires caused by overloading in electrical extension cables.

The FRD revealed the high number of structure fires during a socialisation session with local media, chaired by FRD Assistant Director of Technicalat the FRD Nohi Irwan Surkarki bin Haji Pawi.

The socialisation session’s main objective was to acknowledge the media for their support and cooperation in providing information to raise public awareness on fire safety and general safety measures.

A media personnel uses a water hose during the event. PHOTO: JAMES KON

The session was also aimed at fostering closer ties and improving working relationship between media representatives and FRD officers and personnel.

Apart from statistics on structure fires, the FRD also announced that it is preparing to address the upcoming dry season.

In 2020, 461 calls were recorded for forest fires and 336 for bus fires. The figures also showed a decrease in forest and bush fires compared to 2019, which recorded 983 forest fires and 672 bush fires.

In January 2021, there was only one call for a forest fire and two calls for bush fires.

The media was also briefed on the number of people receiving the Excellence Community Award, for their role in helping to douse small fires and helping evacuate victims to a safe place before firefighters arrived.

There were 33 recipients of the Excellence Community Award in 2019 and 87 in 2020. In January this year, there were 14 individuals who received the award.

The FRD also urged the community to pay attention to fire safety aspects and reduce emergency incident statistics, in line with its motto ‘Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility and together we can achieve a healthier and better environment’.

Contact 995 for fire-related emergencies, and make sure to provide accurate information.