Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fire Safety & Prevention Awareness

Last Tuesday, someone from fire prevention organization came to the office to give a talk on Fire Prevention Safety Awareness. They came once before and it was enlightening. And this is kind of a refresher course for me and indeed it was a very good session with a lot of info.

The most interesting fact he shared was the fact that we know there is a risk of fire in our home but we are never prepared for it if it happens. The main cause of a fire in a house in due to short circuit and then human negligence. Nowadays we have a lot of electrical items in our house and the risk is even higher but most often not until it happens to us then only we take action to prevent. However, fire is not a small thing. It is a dangerous thing that can take lives. We took prevention from thieves by installing grills and locks and some even take extra precaution by installing CCTV and alarm. But how many of us have a smoke detector at home? A good fire detector cost so much less than a CCTV or a grill and each home should at least have one.

The presenter presented a few videos and newspaper cutting about previous fire cases. One was horrifying video of a couple who was trapped in their burning car and they screamed for help for 3 minutes before they totally went silent. The video was taken by a passerby just a view 15 feet from the burning car. You don't actually see the victims but hearing them is enough to make your hair stands. People around tried to help by trying to put off the fire but they failed. Even cars nowadays can easily burn because of all the wiring with the electronic functions in our car. As you can see, there are more and more cases of cars went in flame after an accident or even as when the driving is driving the car. The second story that is stuck in my head is a mother died saving her 3 children from a fire from her house. That was too much to handle I literally cried in the session.

By actual fact, to prevent fire from happening 100% is very hard. There is always 1% chance for it to happen. Why? Because of all the wiring we have around our building...our home. We can prevent fire by being careful with anything that can cause fire in our home such as gas and matches. But short circuit can happen without us knowing it. If the fire starts and we are aware of it when it is still small, we still have the chance to put it out if we have a fire extinguisher. Again I ask, how many of us has a fire extinguisher at home? And how do you detect a smoke if the small fire occurs while you are fast asleep in a deep sleep? You won't realize it. In a demo video he showed us, a small fire that started from a short circuit from a small Christmas tree decor at the edge of a living room manage to burn up the living room in 48 seconds. 48 seconds people!! I would really encourage you guys to at least install a smoke detector in your home. At least you will know when there is fire starting in your house.

Before this I thought smoke detector needs wiring but I was wrong. ignorance too. There is also model that uses battery. And the battery will only need replacement once a year. There is a few range of smoke detector in the market. Starting from RM80 to RM150. Just make sure you choose the one with alarm sound more than 90dB..otherwise the sound won't be loud enough for you to hear when you are sleeping peacefully in your room. Also make sure the brand or type you choose is not super sensitive as it will go off even at the slightest smoke possible. You can either screw it to your syiling or use a good double sided tape (recommened 3M brand)

Sample of a smoke detector (Alarm Sound : >95dB)
RM149 and comes with battery

Smoke detector is used to alarm you when there is a fire starting but what do you use to put off the fire? Surely you can't use water because we have a lot of electrical wiring in our home. Unless it was due to burning cloth or paper. But if it is due to short circuit, NEVER use water. So, maybe the easiest way is to run out of the house once your smoke alarm goes off. But would you want your whole house to burn down with all your belongings? I don't think so. And please don't try to save your belongings while there's fire in your house. Maybe your handbag yes. No I don't mean you handbag collection. I mean the handbag where you put all your important documents like identification cards and others. Again, you can choose to run out of the house, call the fire department and while waiting, maybe your house has burned down. can also opt to have a fire extinguisher at home. I think many of us knows how does it looks like because surely we have seen one in a shopping mall or at the office. If your office doesn't have one, then you should question the management. However, you can't use that type at home. Actually yes you can use but it would be too heavy for someone to lift it up. A women wouldn't be able to handle that weight unless she is a big strong women. I know It would be harder for me. So for me, 1kg fire extinguisher is enough for a home.

There is two types of fire extinguisher in our market. One is Malaysian standard (MS) which we normally sees in the shopping mall or office building called ABC Power and one is Bristish standard (BS). The only difference is British standard has anti explosion system (ABS). The British standard is suitable to be put in a car as it has heat resistance since the temperature inside our car can go up on a hot day. For the MS, you will need to service every year but for BS service only once every 10 years. You can find the MS fire extinguisher at any of major hardware store for about RM89.00++ and yearly service will cost you about RM50. While BS fire extinguisher will cost you RM228 but it is much safer with AES and you won't need to service it for the next 10 years. So if you calculate, in long term BS is better and save your money plus no hassle of every year sending it for servicing.

Left : Osafe BS Fire Extinguisher
Right : ABC Powder MS Fire Extinguisher

I would recommend everyone to at least have one smoke detector and one fire extinguisher at home especially when you have kids in the house. Because it happened before, when the adult panicked, sometimes they tend to forget the child. :'(

Other tips that may come handy:

  1. Keep an extra set of keys to all the locks on your house in each livable bedroom.
  2. Make sure everyone in your house know where the keys are
  3. Make sure everyone knows how to use the fire extinguisher
  4. Batteries can cause fire. Keep all your batteries safely

If you are interested purchase the Osafe Fire Prevention product, you can contact them directly.

No 5-G, Jalan Kenari 12, Bandar Puchong Jaya
47170 Puchong, Selangor
Tel : 03-80717119/7266
Fax : 03-80717288
Email :
Website :

They also have a branch in Johor, you can visit their website for more info.

Bought this set for RM368.00

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