52 deaths from vehicles on fire in 2023, says Fire Dept chief

File picture from JBPM’s FB

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2: Fifty-two people died and 148 injured from 3,592 cases of vehicles having caught fire in 2023, says Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director-general Datuk Nor Hisham Mohammad

“As such, we (JBPM) recommend that all vehicle owners keep at least one fire extinguisher in every vehicle,” he said at the launch of JBPM’s Chinese New Year 2024 preparedness programme, ‘Ops Siaga Raya’ by Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming. JBPM is under the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Nga also reminded those returning to their hometowns for Chinese New Year to drive carefully since the number of fatal road accidents was quite worrying as well.

“Every year a total of 7,000 lives are lost due to road accidents. This translates to about 20 fatalities a day in road accidents and we must reduce this,” he said.

Nga also said JBPM received 34,389 distress calls for fires last year, involving losses estimated at RM2.6 billion.

The losses, he said, were of concern as they were even above the Selangor state assembly’s 2024 Budget.

“This is a message to all Malaysians, particularly those who will be returning to their hometowns for the Chinese New Year soon, that prevention is very important, so don’t wait until disaster strikes.

“As such, we hope everyone takes preventive steps before going back to their hometowns,” he said, adding that 747 fire cases were recorded throughout the Chinese New Year operations last year, of which 13 per cent comprised buildings.

Under the 2024 Chinese New Year Ops, JBPM aims to carry out fire inspections on 4,000 premises nationwide, including homestays, hotels and shopping centres to ensure that every building is equipped with fire extinguishers, alarm systems and accessible emergency exits.

Earlier, Nga and the JBPM also distributed fire extinguishers to the Community Fire Safety Team, Emergency Response Team (ERT) and the Volunteer Fire Brigade as well as road users.