BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — A large number of government-owned buildings have failed fire safety inspections, including the Legislative Council (LegCo) building, YB Siti Rozaimeriyanty DSLJ Hj Abdul Rahman said on Saturday.

Citing 2017 to 2020 data, the LegCo member said 90 percent of the 85 buildings inspected did not fulfil fire safety requirements.

During the 17th LegCo session on Saturday, she said 13 health centres and government clinics had poor fire safety standards, while 66 percent of 55 schools also failed the inspection.

The home affairs minister acknowledged that “many” government-owned buildings did not meet fire safety guidelines.

YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong said action will be taken to ensure public facilities comply with the Fire Safety Order 2016.

YB Siti Rozaimeriyanty speaks during a Legislative Council session on March 20, 2021. Photo: Infofoto

YB Siti Rozaimeriyanty said state-owned buildings should set the best example in terms of building safety, especially in complying with  laws and regulations.

Fire safety is important to ensure the protection of people and buildings, she said, adding that all buildings should be equipped with a fire protection system.

“I hope that the ministry, through the Fire and Rescue Department, will raise awareness on the importance of fire safety inspections and regulations, not only to the private sector but also the ministries, she added.

The minister said the Fire and Rescue Department managed to achieve its response time target for 85.5 percent of dispatched incidents last year, exceeding the 80 percent goal under the National Emergency Response System (NERS).

“The target response time is 10 minutes for urban areas, 15 minutes for sub-urban areas and 20 minutes for rural areas. We will continue to improve our response time,” he said.

The National Emergency Response System was allocated a budget of $2.6 million under the 11th National Development Plan.