PETALING JAYA: One of the main causes of house fires is the overuse of electrical appliances, according to Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Mohamad Hamdan Wahid.
He said last year the department had received 104,045 calls, of which 36,758 were fire related.
He said 95.1% (6,301) cases of fire were classified as accidental and were caused by human activities such as overuse of electrical appliances.
“The department managed to save property valued at RM28.273 billion while property losses stood at RM3.317 billion.
“Deaths due to fire stood at 97,“ Hamdan said, adding that 267 (4.1%) of the fires were set deliberately.
He said one of the main problems faced by the department was the lack of information when they arrived at a scene.
He said at times firemen are not informed about the number of people in the building.
“We sometimes stumble over victims who were attempting to put out a fire. They are the ones we manage to save.
“Sadly we also discover bodies after putting out the fire because we were unaware they were in the building,“ Hamdan said.
He urged those whose homes had old wiring to change them because old wires could cause fires.
He said it is also important for those maintaining buildings to ensure all their fire detection systems work properly.