Most Perak entertainment outlets have violated fire safety practices, says state rescue dept chief

John Bunyan
State Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Osman inspects an entertainment centre in Ipoh May 15, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, May 15 — State Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Osman today said that most of the entertainment centres in Perak do not have a proper exit route in case of an emergency. 

Azmi said checks conducted by the department showed that the entertainment centres lacked the correct exit signs as well as fire escape doors and stairs. 

“We have conducted checks on the entertainment centres around Perak for the past two weeks and found that most of them have inadequate escape routes.

“Even if they have escape routes or doors, they are either blocked or fail to meet the required standards,” he told reporters after inspecting an entertainment outlet on Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah here.

Azmi said there are a total 93 entertainment premises in Perak, but only 66 are still in operation.

“Following our checks, we have issued 89 notices to 21 entertainment centres and have given them a week to repair or upgrade the fire and rescue systems in their premises,” he added.

Azmi also urged premises owners to brief their staff on an escape plan in the event of a fire.

“Maybe after this, we will call all the entertainment centres to discuss the fire and rescue system and provide a course for their staff on what they should do when there is a fire,” he said.

Azmi said that the department inspected the entertainment centres as it believes they will be inundated with patrons during the Hari Raya holidays.

“We want to make sure the outlets are safe for customers.

“We must prevent an incident similar to what happened at Times Square Ipoh here three months ago from happening again. If the premises had been equipped with a proper escape route, many more lives could have been saved,” he said.

On February 20, six died and two were seriously injured when a fire engulfed an eight-storey entertainment outlet at Times Square Ipoh on Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah here.

*A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.

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