Fire incidents in Malaysia are on the rise – an alarming development in a country where most structures are built from reinforced concrete. In 2017 alone, 49 cases were reported and half of them involved casualties. In an attempt to curb this problem, a new amendment to the Electricity Regulation 1994 was recently made that requires all houses in the country to conduct compulsory checks on electrical wiring once every 10 years, starting next year.
According to a report by Bernama, Energy Commission’s Electrical Safety Development Head Iffah Hannah Muluk revealed that, “Due to the lack of awareness on electrical safety, people do not conduct checks on electrical wiring until something happens.”
Evidence suggests that many people fail to see the importance of getting their wiring checked. Earlier last month, Selangor Fire and Rescue Department chief Azmi Osman said that studies on fire investigation report showed that many fires, including those that involved fatalities, were caused by short circuits to old and unserviced electrical system.
“This year alone we saw 14 lives lost in Selangor due to fire mishaps. This is a drastic increase compared to previous years. While it is costly to have thorough checks, it is still nothing compared to what one can lose in case of fire, including valuables and even lives of loved ones,” he was quoted saying in an article by New Straits Times. He further added that most of the cases happened at premises which were over 15 years of age, some more than 20 years.
While some may decry this as government overreach, many regulations are put into place simply to save us from ourselves; this may be one such case! In line with the upcoming regulations, it’s advisable for homeowners to get their wiring checked immediately if they’ve not done so, and for those who are renting, it’s wise to inform your landlord to do it as soon as possible. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.