Gawai Festival Alert: JBPM Sarawak Urges Fire Safety After Longhouse Fire


Gawai: JBPM Sarawak Calls on the Public to Focus on Fire Safety

Gawai Festival Alert JBPM Sarawak Urges Fire Safety After Longhouse Fire
Gawai Festival Alert JBPM Sarawak Urges Fire Safety After Longhouse Fire

Fire Safety Emphasized Ahead of Gawai Celebration

KUCHING: As the Gawai celebration approaches, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) Sarawak is urging the public to prioritize fire safety. Acting Sarawak Fire Director Tiong Ling Hii announced this call to action during a press conference following the launch of the Gawai Fire Safety Campaign.

Recent Longhouse Fire Sparks Urgency

The emphasis on fire safety comes in the wake of a recent longhouse fire in Kampung Long Bangan Apoh, Baram, which occurred on Tuesday. The fire devastated 14 out of the 102 doors in the longhouse, rendering 46 individuals homeless. Residents of the longhouse were preparing for the Gawai festivities when the disaster struck.

Historical Fire Incidents and Losses

Tiong Ling Hii highlighted that JBPM Sarawak recorded 16 longhouse fires last year, which resulted in significant property loss. However, timely intervention saved three longhouses, preserving property worth RM5.07 million. This year, between January and April, six longhouse fires were documented, with four longhouses and property valued at RM1.45 million being saved.

Volunteer Firefighters’ Role and Challenges

Volunteer firefighters play a crucial role as first responders during longhouse fires. Currently, JBPM Sarawak has 58 registered volunteer fire teams, though only 38 are actively operational. Tiong mentioned the department’s efforts to reactivate the remaining 20 teams, which had their registrations canceled due to inactive annual general meetings.

Future Plans for Fire Safety Enhancement

The fire department plans to be more proactive by engaging with communities and increasing the number of volunteer fire brigades in Sarawak. JBPM Sarawak currently has 2,006 members across 175 firefighting community teams statewide. The department also aims to reinstate the annual grant of RM3,000 for active volunteer teams, enhancing their capability to respond to fire emergencies effectively.

JBPM Sarawak’s Fire Safety Campaign

To raise awareness, JBPM Sarawak has released a short video on social media, emphasizing fire prevention measures and awareness. This initiative aims to educate the public and reduce the incidence of fires during the Gawai celebration and beyond.


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