Home fires : our mindset vs. the statistics

Posted on April 27, 2020


EJP_yVEX0AAI4GTWhen you understand what are the main causes of home fires, then you may appreciate my concern that, as we all stay home during this ongoing MCO, home fire risk goes up several notches.

Most people, though, including myself, until quite recently, have a false sense of security when it comes to the issue of fires at home.

MindsetThis “houses only burn on the other side” attitude is one of three factors why building fires are more dangerous today than ever before.

Even when we read in the papers about a house destroyed by fire, we reason that that house probably contained highly flammables, whilst ours does not.

I want to share with you some statistics on building fires in Malaysia, extracted from a New Straits Times report in November, 2017. Click on the image below to read that full report.

  • 6000 buildings destroyed every year – that’s 16 a day
  • 2400 homes destroyed every year – 7 families rendered homeless everyday
  • 120-150 people killed every year
  • a child dies once every two weeks from home fire injuries

The 3 main causes of home fires

  1. electrical short circuit, appliance malfunction, etc
  2. kitchen fires ( cooking left unattended and cooking oil igniting )
  3. cigarette butts inadequately extinguished

You will observe that the second and third are but instances of human negligence, and with more time being spent at home during this MCO, the risk of human error at home goes up.

Before I explain why I say that building fires today are more dangerous than ever before, I want to first help you to understand the nature of fire and their four stages. That’s in my next post.

Once you understand the nature of fire, you will begin to see why the risk is more real than you now think.