$11m lost in property fires last year

National 2 minutes, 28 seconds


THE Fire and Rescue Department recorded an estimated $11 million in property losses from 116 home and building fires reported in 2015.

The figures from last year showed an increase from 103 cases (an estimated $8.65 million in property losses) in 2014 and a slight hike from 112 cases (an estimated $13.5 million in property losses) in 2013.

A public relations officer from the department, who declined to be named, said the reason for the increase of fire caused at homes were due to negligence from the home owners.

According to the department, a total of $18.7 million worth of properties was saved from losses last year, a slight drop from $19 million in 2014, and a jump from $6.6 million in 2013, according to recent statistics from the department.

Faulty electrical appliances, leaving cooking appliances unattended and incendiary incidents (incidents where fires were caused deliberately or with criminal intent) are the three main causes of fires, according to the Fire and Rescue Department in a press statement.

The figures provided by the department showed that out of the 116 cases reported in 2015, 77 cases of house fires were reported with an estimated $3.2 million in losses and a total of $3.8 million saved due to rapid response from the department.

The remaining 39 cases last year were for buildings with an estimated loss of $8.3 million and an estimated $14.9 million saved.

In 2013, 63 cases were recorded for cases at homes with an estimated $4.5 million loss. A total of $2.9 million was saved.

Slightly more than half of the cases were caused by carelessness and lack of knowledge about electrical equipment which resulted in overheating, overloading, short circuiting and loose connections, according to previous report.

The rest of the cases were caused by leaving cooking on, followed by loose connections or corrosion to cooking gas supplies. Three were by children playing with fireworks.

The Fire and Rescue Department was called for 49 cases for buildings in 2013, with an estimated $9 million loss and saved $3.7 million.

The statistics in 2014 revealed a decrease to 52 cases for houses from 63 cases in 2013. Houses destroyed by fire in 2014 recorded an estimated $1.5 million, a decrease from $4.5 million in 2013.

The department disclosed an estimated $7.2 million loss for 51 cases for buildings in 2014, a decrease from $9 million in 2013.

According to the statement, a total of 192 cases of loss for houses were reported from 2013 until 2015, while 139 cases of loss for buildings were reported in the past three years from 2015 onwards.

The department disclosed a total of $9.2 million loss for houses from 2013 until 2015, while saving a total of $8.9 million possessions at homes from fire.

The department also reported a total of $24.5 million loss for buildings in the period from 2013 to 2015. Fortunately, a total of $35.4 million worth of properties were saved from fire in the past three years.

The officer said “We are trying our best to educate the public by holding as many awareness programmes to the community throughout the year,” he said. He advised members of the public to replace old electrical cables and appliances after certain years to avoid fire hazard.

The Brunei Times