Kuching: Shopowners of historical precincts in old Kuching city will be required to install fire extinguishers on their properties starting next year.
In view of the rising number of fires in the area such as the 2009 fire that saw six shophouses at Gambier Street gutted, fire extinguishers have to be installed in these shophouses by 2013, said Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak director Nor Hisham Mohammad.
"Based on our inspection, a lot of these old shophouses were not maintaining their fire extinguishers," he told reporters at a press conference after the launch of the ‘Emergency Response Team (ERT) & Bomba Volunteers Marching Efficiency Competition (South Zone) 2012' at Bomba headquarters in Tabuan Jaya here yesterday.
"Therefore, we will implement an enforcement programme whereby in the first stage, we will inform the premises to install fire extinguishers and by February 2013, carry out the enforcement."
Hisham said the competition simed to gauge participants' knowledge, efficiency, skills and responsibility in their line of duty as an ERT.
"As the first responder, the ERT must make the right decision swiftly and be trained, his competence and skills measured through competitions like this," he said.
The inaugural competition saw 338 participants from corporate agencies, uniformed bodies and Bomba volunteers participating.
Also present were Bomba Sarawak deputy director Abdul Halim Jadi, Bomba Sarawak Fire Safety Unit assistant director Zaki Omar and Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) assistant publicity and information secretary Sih Hua Tong.--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online