KOTA KINABALU: Faulty electrical wiring system was the leading cause of fire in Sabah between 2006 and November, this year.
The Fire and Rescue Services Department statistics released yesterday indicated that faulty electrical wiring system was the cause of 57 fires in 2006, 20 in 2007, 92 in 2008, 72 in 2009, 99 in 2010 and 156, up to November, this year.
Open burning was the second main cause of fire in Sabah, whereby a total of 431 cases within the six-year period were recorded since 2006 and up to November of this year.
Other causes of fire recorded in the statistics were lightning, faulty electrical devices, friction, flames, explosion, chemical reaction, high temperature surfaces and deliberate burning.
The total number of fires caused by all the above between January and November, this year, were 370 cases, and last year, 359 cases.
Based on the statistics, the number of cases was on the rise since 2006 to this year, with the exception of 2007 (91 cases) and 2009 (293 cases).
Residential fires are also the most common of all structural fires in Sabah.
There were 271 residential fires between January and November, this year, while 263 were recorded last year.
The second and third common structures that caught fire were shophouses and workshops.
The least common structures to have fire breakout were fuel stations, with only one incident recorded in 2009.
Overall this year, a total of 370 structural fires were recorded. Last year, 259 structural fires were recorded and 145 cases in in 2006.
The statistics also provided details on vehicle fires within the six-year period.
Cars had the highest fire incident with 38 cases between January and November, this year, followed by lorries or trailers with eight cases and other vehicles with five cases.
A total of 52 vehicle fires were recorded between January and November, this year.
The majority of vehicle fires stated in the statistics were due to malfunctioned electrical wiring system, with 34 cases this year.
Meanwhile, a total of 128 deaths were recorded in Sabah between January and November, this year, while 409 injury cases were recorded during the same period.
The most common fire victims were adults between the ages of 25 and 54 followed by teenagers and young adults between 13 years old and 24 years old.
Last year, there were 130 deaths and 392 injuries caused by fires.
The statistics also revealed that a total of RM60,996,467.53 worth of properties went up in smoke between January and November, this year, while fires destroyed RM61,199,772.72 worth of properties last year.
It also showed that fraud calls were rising from 21 cases in 2006 to 52 cases up to November this year.