Kedah Fire and Rescue department is on a mission to create awareness of fire hazards among those who live in high-risk areas
ALOR STAR: KEDAH Fire and Rescue Department personnel will go from house-to-house to increase fire-safety awareness among villagers in remote areas soon.
Its director, Ahmad Shahabuddin, said the new approach was aimed at those living in wooden houses in high-risk areas which are difficult to access by fire engines.
"Based on our experience, many of the villagers are still ignorant about what to do in case of fire.
"In many cases, the victims were slow to call to us because they were too busy saving their property instead. And worse, some even put themselves or their family members in danger while doing that.
"These are the reasons we're making our rounds to reach out to those living in risky areas, or homes which catch fire easily.
"We want to educate them and give simple tips such as suggestions that they keep a fire-extinguisher at home and have their wiring systems checked once every five years.
"Our aim is not only to increase the level of awareness among the public, but also to save property and achieve 'zero death' this year," he said, after officiating the department's annual parade at the State Fire and Rescue Department headquarters in Jalan Tun Razak here on Thursday.
Ahmad said, apart from the house-to-house campaign, the department will standardise training programmes for all the 47 volunteer fire-fighting teams in the state.
He said the coordinated training will help the teams, which comprised 2,004 volunteers, to improve their skills and competency in handling fires and emergencies.
"The volunteers will usually be among the first to reach the scene as most of them are based in residential areas.
"We hope with regular and standardised training, the volunteer fire-fighting teams will improve their response skills and competency and we can carry our duties more effectively," he said, adding that there are 700 fire-fighters in the state.
Earlier, Ahmad read out the New Year's speech by the Malaysia Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim to some 300 officers and staff from throughout the state at the event.
The speech highlighted, among others, the department's aim to increase staff competency through continuous training in various fields this year.