‘Over RM12.8 million lost in longhouse fires’
SIBU: Eight cases of longhouse fire were reported in Sarawak during the first four months of this year, with losses for 169 doors razed amounting to RM12,890,550.
Fire and Rescue Department ( Bomba) state director Nor Hisham Mohammad disclosed this yesterday, adding that properties worth RM4,796,000.00 were salvaged.
“Last year, 26 cases of longhouse fire were reported across Sarawak with 331 doors gutted and property losses totalling RM19,359,350. Bomba Sarawak managed to save properties worth RM14,986,000 from going up in smoke,” he told The Borneo Post.
Asked on the major causes of longhouse fires, he revealed that seven cases were due to cooking activities and 11 from electrical faults in 2017.
He noted this year, there was one case caused by cooking activity and three from electrical faults.
In this regard, Nor Hisham reminded those celebrating Gawai Dayak festival to take extra precautions against fire.
The public is advised against using electrical appliances without Sirim approval and to avoid overloading sockets with too many connections.
Nor Hisham also cautioned for barbeques not to be carried out too close to the house especially wooden structures.
“It is important also to ensure that fires are fully extinguished before leaving the barbeque pit to avoid the flames being fanned by wind.
“Village security and development committees (JKKKs) and Bomba Community members should also refresh their skills and continuously monitor the longhouses. Be alert to any activities that increase fire hazards, including leaving cooking unattended,” he said.
He advised that gas regulators be switched off when not in use for a period of time. Windows and doors in the kitchen should be opened before cooking to avoid sparks if there is a gas leak.
Dr Penguang presents aid to fire victim Ong Li Li. At right is Kapitan Chin Fung Ying.
Nor Hisham Mohammad