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Over BND2M in fire damages since Jan

Rokiah Mahmud & Izah Azahari

The Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) recorded over BND2 million in fire damages, said FRD Head of Public Relations Assistant Superintendent Pengiran Mohd Ali Rahman bin Pengiran Haji Salleh in a press conference on Saturday.

The FRD estimated losses of BND948,500 from 24 house fires, BND1,959,001 from 12 building fires and BND93,856 from 31 electrical fires recorded from January to March, said the assistant superintendent.

Some causes of fires include electrical overloads, overheating, loose or old wiring, illegal modifications of wiring and damage to electrical components, he said, while others were due to individuals leaving cooking or open fires unattended and accidents with candles or lighters.

Incidents of arson were also reported.

Acting Director of the Department of Electrical Services (DES) Muhammad Amir Sharifuddin bin Haji Ali said from January to April, the department recorded 50 cases of fires caused by overloaded electrical energy consumption or user equipment.

He said in celebrating the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the DES advises the public to practise frugality and wisdom in the use of electricity to avoid waste and incidents that could result in the loss of property.

The acting director said measures can be taken to prevent electrical fires, such as not using too many electrical appliances at one time, turning off lights, water heaters, air conditioners, fans and televisions when not in use, and not leaving festive lights on for too long.

He urged the public to be attentive on safety aspects on wiring work in private or business premises.

ABOVE & BELOW: Firefighters putting out a car fire; and a house burning down. PHOTOS: FRD

Muhammad Amir Sharifuddin said conducting additional wiring work must be done by a DES-registered contractor.

He said tests and inspections on wiring should be carried out every five years for businesses and 10 for private premises, adding that inspections must be carried out by a professional engineer (PE) registered with the Board of Architects, Professional Engineers and Quantity Surveyors (BAPEQS).

BAPEQS can be reached through its website (www.bapeqs.gov.bn) and a list of contractors on the DES website (www.des.gov.bn), he said.

CAR FIRES

From January to March, FRD recorded 14 calls involving car fires with estimated losses of BND35,930, said FRD Assistant Superintendent Pengiran Mohd Ali Rahman.

Main causes of car fires are electrical mishaps – overloads, short circuit and damaged wiring – or mechanical malfunction such as damage to components or fuel leaks.

The department also recorded six car accidents between January and March, leading to four injuries and one fatality, he said.

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